Peter, “Will you die for me?” Part Three

[John 21:15-19] So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” (Referring to the boat loads of fish they had just caught after following His directions to cast their nets on the right side of the ship.) He (Simon Peter) said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He (Jesus) said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He (Jesus) said to him the second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” Simon Peter, said to Him, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” He (Jesus) said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He (Jesus) said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” “Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he (Peter) would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

This story about Peter in the gospel of John shows us the failure of man when he acts in his own power. After defeat, we, like Peter, need restoration. We all have a tendency to return to the things most familiar to us during those times. And in Peter’s case; he was a fisherman, so he went fishing. Peter had been deeply wounded in his inner person the night he denied knowing his Lord; and another man cannot heal that problem; only the Lord can heal us and restore us so that we are a whole person again. Jesus began the restoration process by asking Peter, “Peter, do you love me more than these?” Jesus was referring to the fish His disciples had just caught, and which represented Peter’s old way of life. Peter responded by saying, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus gave Peter a ministry of ‘feeding His lambs or newborns’ that would come into His kingdom as a result of Peter’s preaching. Again Jesus asked Peter the same question and Peter responded in the affirmative, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, ‘tend to my sheep’ or, Peter, care for my people as if they were your own mother, sister or brother. And a third time Jesus asked Peter, “Peter, do you love me?” The bible tells us, “Peter was grieved.” It was at this point in their conversation that Jesus showed Peter he had to confront his cowardliness if he was going to be restored to his rightful place in the kingdom of God. And once Peter acknowledged his weakness; the restoration process began. Jesus said to him, ‘feed my sheep’ meaning that Jesus was turning over to Peter complete care of His flock that would be in and around Jerusalem from that day forward. No longer would Peter depend upon his own strength to fight the Lord’s battles. He was not only a fully restored man;  he was a new man with a new job responsibility which he would fulfill magnificently. And who in his old age would request to be crucified upside down because he considered himself as not being worthy of being crucified in the same position as His Lord. What a difference it makes in our life when we admit our mistakes, forgive ourselves, let the Lord restore us, and make us into what He wants us to become. DThrash

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2 Comments

  1. David, Thank you so much for the wonderful poem. Unfortunately, fear and failure are very real for the person without the Lord. Born with a sin consciousness, born without hope, but that changes when the Lord is invited in and Love is allowed to reign in their place. DThrash

  2. Fear and Failure are lies to the core. Look deep inside and you will see God at the door. Come in Come in it’s great to see you, I have been waiting here to make all your dreams true. The world had you hypnotized by is glamour and flare, and now you are understanding that it has never been there. The ego lies and tells you it’s true that I want to hurt, kill and later burn you. My children who hear my voice know this is not so, how can I create a love and then just let it go? Why would I, love create, in order to just annihilate? Think on you own without being told and you to will see this Great Lie of old. Fear is control and lies are the means, so go deep within and plan your dreams. When you understand that FEAR is a lie you can see the culprit and remove his disguise. Brothers and Sisters listen and hear, I too am a son of God and He is right here. Live this life and live your dreams without the fear to Fail! And you too will see that our God is a God of love and Not the god of Hell!

    david winter

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