|God Loves You|
"The third time he said to him."Simon son of John do you love me?" Peter was hurt because he asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" he said, "Lord you know all things; you know I love you." Jesus said. "Feed my sheep." John 21:17
Simon also called Peter denied Jesus three times on the night Christ was crucified. Simon must have been full of self-doubt, that his position as leader was forfeit and unworthy of being a disciple of the Lord.
Then Jesus returns from the grave having overcome the judgment of sin and victorious over death. Three times the question is put to Simon, "do you love me?"
DO YOU LOVE ME
He asks not because he is narcissistic but because he is worthy of Peter' love and our love; we are at our best when we love God and live out an expression of that love.
Peter called him Lord here and if Jesus was only a good teacher or rabbi he would have had to correct Peter but he instead accepts it as the correct title. As Lord, he knows Peter's heart. He knows all things and he knows our hearts too.
FEED MY SHEEP
Jesus said to feed his sheep or lambs three times. It may have been because Peter denied him three times, or because the Bible is full of the threefold representation of God, or the progression in the questions the Lord asked Peter and his answers. Each time the duty was more demanding, they went from feeding lambs to leading the sheep to tending the sheep. Christ covered all the duties and Peter could not have any doubt of the totality of the request.
To care for sheep is hard unending work full of heartbreak and frustration. If we love Jesus we will love his sheep- all those people with problems who make foolish choices and come to us all the time with needs and problems. He loves them and if we love him we love those who are his too.
There are many ways we can do this.
* Give them the encouragement of the Word of God.
* Guide them where we can.
* Protect them when it is possible to do so.
* Give them what they need when we have it.
* Find them when they stray.
* Lift them up when they fall.
Do we love our Lord? The way we treat his people will show just how much.
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