Taking Care of His Business
Verse 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
We continue talking about Jesus and Peter’s discussion about the mission Jesus was preparing Peter for.
Repetition is something that any teacher will tell you is important. The Jewish way of teaching has lots of repetition, maybe with some variations on how it is said. The proverbs are proof of this. Notice Jesus is using this method to hit home the message He has for Peter. He needs to make sure that Peter gets this message so that Peter can carry on the ministry.
Peter has again told Jesus that there was no reason to doubt that he loved Him as a dear friend. Peter wants Jesus to understand that he does love Him but that being all in is a bit more than he can agree to at this moment. Maybe he was hoping that if he didn’t agree that Jesus would stay longer. Maybe he was thinking of all the other things that were going to be needing his attention. It had been three years since he has been able to be a full-time fisherman and there may have been repairs to be made on his house. So many things can come up if they haven’t been attended to in the last three years.
But Jesus gently continues, “take care of my sheep.” If you remember right, last time Jesus had asked him to feed His lambs. This time around Jesus tells Peter to take care of His sheep. Jesus needs Peter to think past preaching to new people and the spiritually hungry. He needs to give pastoral care as well. Peter wasn’t going to be alone in this ministry but he was going to be the top leader and if the others were going to do what they were being called to, Peter needed to be a good example, the example that Jesus was preparing him to be.
Jesus wasn’t calling only Peter and the other early Church leaders to this mission of caring for His sheep. Jesus had been instructing throughout His earthly ministry to care for each other both physically and spiritually. We often find ourselves more willing to help each other physically than spiritually. We don’t tend to get too involved with each other’s spiritual life, maybe because we don’t want people poking into our spiritual lives. Jesus was calling Peter deeper into his care of the Church and we need to be answering that call as well. Pastoral care isn’t a pastor’s job alone. In fact the healthiest of churches are those who care for each other as Christ called us to.
Making It Personal
When was the last time that you showed care for a fellow believer? Was it physical or spiritual care? In what way can you show spiritual care to a fellow believer today?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it look like to care for someone’s needs? What could a spiritual need be? Who can you show care to, today?
Father, thank You for calling us to love and care for each other. Please show us the ways that we need to be more loving and caring towards those around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.