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Sometimes Peter

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SOMETIMES PETER, NEVER JUDAS

 

(JOHN 21:1-22)


A GROUP OF PROSPECTORS SET OUT FROM BANNOCK, MONTANA (THEN CAPITAL OF THE STATE), IN SEARCH FOR GOLD.

THEY WENT THROUGH MANY HARDSHIPS AND SEVERAL OF THEIR LITTLE COMPANY DIED EN ROUTE. FINALLY THEY WERE OVERTAKEN BY THE INDIANS WHO TOOK THEIR GOOD HORSES, LEAVING THEM WITH ONLY A FEW LIMPING OLD PONIES.

THEN THE INDIANS THREATENED THEM, TELLING THEM TO GET BACK TO BANNOCK AND STAY THERE,

IF THEY FOUND THEM AGAIN, THEY WOULD KILL THE LOT OF THEM.

DEFEATED, DISCOURAGED AND DOWNHEARTED, THE PROSPECTORS SOUGHT TO MAKE THEIR WAY BACK TO THE CAPITAL CITY.

ON ONE OCCASION AS THEY TETHERED OUT THE LIMPING PONIES ON A CREEKSIDE, ONE OF THE MEN CASUALLY PICKED UP A LITTLE STONE FROM THE CREEK BED.

HE CALLED TO HIS BUDDY FOR A HAMMER

AND BROKE THE ROCK, AND SAID,

“IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THERE MAY BE GOLD HERE.”

THE TWO OF THEM PANNED GOLD THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON AND MANAGED TO FIND TWELVE DOLLARS’ WORTH OF GOLD.

THE ENTIRE LITTLE COMPANY PANNED GOLD ALL NEXT DAY

AND FOUND FIFTY DOLLARS WORTH OF GOLD.

A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY IN THOSE DAYS.

THEY SAID TO ONE ANOTHER: “WE’VE STRUCK IT!”

SO THEY MADE THEIR WAY BACK TO BANNOCK

AND VOWED NOT TO BREATHE A WORD CONCERNING

THEIR GOLD STRIKE.

SECRETLY THEY SET OUT RE-EQUIPPING THEMSELVES WITH SUPPLIES FOR A SECOND PROSPECTING TRIP.

ON THE DAY THEY WERE ABOUT TO GO BACK,

THREE HUNDRED MEN WERE THERE READY TO FOLLOW THEM.

NONE OF THE LITTLE COMPANY HAD TOLD ANYONE

ABOUT THEIR GOLD FIND,

SO HOW DID EVERYONE KNOW?

IT WAS THEIR BEAMING FACES THAT BETRAYED THEM!


WHEN JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS

THE DISCIPLES WERE THE BIGGEST BUNCH

OF LOSERS, COWARDS AND DOUBTERS,   YOU'VE EVER SEEN.

WHEN JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED (LK 23:49).

JUDAS HANGED HIMSELF,

PETER DENIED CHRIST THREE TIMES

AND ALL THE REST OF THEM HELD BACK     AT A DISTANCE.

THEY WERE SURE

THE JEWS WERE COMING FOR THEM NEXT.

BUT THEN

THREE DAYS LATER EVERYTHING CHANGED.

AFTER SEEING THE RESURRECTED CHRIST,

AND THEN AFTER PENTECOST,

THEY BECAME TRANSFORMED MEN.

THEY BUILT THE FIRST CHURCH.

THEY WERE THE FIRST EVANGELISTS,

THEY WERE THE FIRST MISSIONARIES

AND THRY WERE THE FIRST MARTYRS,

THEY FEARLESSLY STOOD IN THE FACE OF DANGER

AND RISKED THEIR OWN LIVES.

THE TRANSFORMATION THAT TOOK PLACE

IN THE LIVES OF THESE DISCIPLES

IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST EVIDENCES THAT WE HAVE

THAT JESUS REALLY DID RISE FROM THE DEAD.

THESE SCARED, LEADERLESS MEN

THAT WERE HIDING IN FEAR.

THESE MEN WHO WERE AFRAID THAT THEY WERE THE NEXT TO BE CRUCIFIED,

SUDDENLY BECAME THE MEN THAT WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD.

JESUS HAD COME BACK

IN RECLAIMING, REDEEMING, EMPOWERING,     POWER

JESUS WAS JUST WHAT HIS DISCIPLES NEEDED.

HIS DISCIPLES WERE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO REGROUP,

THEY HAD A ANOTHER CHANCE

ALL WAS NOT LOST. 

JESUS REALLY WAS THE GOD MAN THEY HAD BELIEVED IN.

THE MISSION WAS STILL ON,

AND THEY WERE LEADERLESS NO MORE.

OUR GOD IS THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES.

AND THIRD CHANCES, AND FOUR HUNDREDTH CHANCES.

EVEN THOUGH THE GRACE OF GOD IS AMAZING WE MUST BE CAREFUL NOT TO ABUSE IT.

GOD KNOWS WHEN WE'RE TRYING TO CON HIM.

WE DON'T HAVE A HANDLE ON GOD.

THERE IS ALWAYS A CONSEQUENCE TO OUR ACTIONS.

BUT GOD ALSO KNOWS WHEN WE ARE SINCERE AND REALLY WANT HIS HELP.

DID YOU KNOW THAT  30% OF AN AVERAGE PERSON’S ANXIETY IS FOCUSED ON THINGS ABOUT THE PAST THAT CAN’T BE CHANGED.

IF WE WERE HONEST WITH OURSELVES, WE’D ALL AGREE THAT

THERE’S SOMETHING IN OUR PAST WE REGRET DOING.

IF WE COULD WE’D YELL "DO-OVER" AND GET A SECOND CHANCE.

EVEN THOUGH WE CAN'T GET A DO-OVER,  GOD CAN GIVE US FORGIVENESS AND PEACE ABOUT IT.

GOD CAN GIVE US POWER TO OVERCOME OUR PAST FAILURES AND GIVE US A SECOND CHANCE TO DO IT RIGHT.

__________________________________________________________

OVER SOME FORTY DAYS (ACTS 1:3).

THE RISEN JESUS CHRIST APPEARED

TO MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE (1 COR 15:6)

EVEN THOUGH THE LORD HAD APPEARED TO ALL HIS DISCIPLES EXCEPT JUDAS WHO HAD HUNG HIMSELF,

IT WAS NOT ENOUGH FOR THE DISCIPLES TO JUST KNOW THAT JESUS HAD RISEN FROM THE DEAD.

THEY NEEDED SOMETHING ELSE INSIDE THEM TO GIVE THEM POWER.

WE NEED POWER TOO.

JAY LENO COLLECTS CARS.

HE HAS SO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF CARS THAT THEY HAVE ASKED HIM TO WRITE A COLUMN ABOUT HIS CARS IN THE POPULAR MECHANICS MAGAZINE.

IN ONE OF HIS COLUMNS HE WROTE ABOUT A CAR THAT HAD A TANK MOTOR IN IT.

IT DIDN'T GET MANY MILES TO THE GALLON, BUT IT HAD A WHOLE LOT OF POWER.

THERE WAS ANOTHER CAR THAT HE WROTE ABOUT.  IT’S CALLED A BUGGOTTI.  THIS CAR'S MOTOR COULD PUT OUT 1000 HORSE POWER.

IT COULD REACH SPEEDS THAT WERE WAY TOO FAST FOR PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY USE.

__________________________________________________________

MANY OF US LIVE A LIFE OF FUTILITY AND FRUITLESSNESS.

WE LIVE A LIFE THAT DOESN’T HAVE ANY REAL WORLD CHANGING POWER.

OUT MOTOR ISN’T VERY BIG

IT ISN’T VERY POWERFUL.

ACTUALLY OUR MOTOR SEEMS TO BE MISSING ON AT LEAST FOUR OF OUR CYLINDERS.

WE HAVE TROUBLE JUST GETTING THROUGH THE DAY,

LET ALONE HELPING ANYONE ELSE WHO MAY NEED OUR HELP.

WE'RE NOT SURE WHAT THE NEXT STEP IS, AND SO WE JUST DO WHAT WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IN THE PAST.

NOT MUCH.

JOHN 21:1-6

AFTERWARD JESUS APPEARED AGAIN TO HIS DISCIPLES, BY THE SEA OF TIBERIAS.

 

IT HAPPENED THIS WAY:

2 SIMON PETER, THOMAS (CALLED DIDYMUS), NATHANAEL FROM CANA IN GALILEE, THE SONS OF ZEBEDEE, AND TWO OTHER DISCIPLES WERE TOGETHER.

 

3 “I’M GOING OUT TO FISH,” SIMON PETER TOLD THEM,

AND THEY SAID, “WE’LL GO WITH YOU.”

SO THEY WENT OUT AND GOT INTO THE BOAT,

BUT THAT NIGHT THEY CAUGHT NOTHING.

 

4 EARLY IN THE MORNING, JESUS STOOD ON THE SHORE,

BUT THE DISCIPLES DID NOT REALIZE THAT IT WAS JESUS.

5 HE CALLED OUT TO THEM, “FRIENDS, HAVEN’T YOU ANY FISH?” “NO,” THEY ANSWERED.

 

6 HE SAID, “THROW YOUR NET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOAT AND YOU WILL FIND SOME.”

WHEN THEY DID, THEY WERE UNABLE TO HAUL THE NET IN BECAUSE OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF FISH.



 

A MINISTER WAS FULL OF ENERGY AND ENTHUSIASM FOR THE LORD.

ONE DAY HE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL TO VISIT ONE OF HIS PARISHIONERS WHO WAS CRITICALLY ILL.

THE MINISTER ENTERED THE ROOM AND SAW THE MAN LYING IN BED WITH A WHOLE HOST OF TUBES AND WIRES ATTACHED TO HIS BODY.

WITHOUT ANY DELAY THE MINISTER STRODE TO HIS BEDSIDE AND BEGAN TO EXHORT HIM TO BE OF GOOD CHEER.

SOON THE MAN STARTED TO WAVE HIS ARMS.

THIS ENCOURAGED THE MINISTER,

AND SO HE EXHORTED HIM MORE AND MORE ENTHUSIASTICALLY.

FINALLY THE MINISTER ENDED WITH A RATHER LENGTHY PRAYER.

AT THE FINAL “AMEN” THE MINISTER OPENED HIS EYES JUST IN TIME TO SEE THE MAN REACH FOR A PAD OF PAPER AND A PENCIL.

QUICKLY HE WROTE SOMETHING AND HANDED IT TO THE MINISTER.

THEN THE MAN TURNED HIS HEAD AND DIED.

THE MINISTER WAS DEEPLY MOVED TO THINK THAT HIS VISIT TO THIS MAN HAD OCCURRED IN THE NICK OF TIME.

THEN HE LOOKED AT THE PAD AND READ THESE WORDS:

“YOU'RE STANDING ON MY OXYGEN TUBE.”


THE DISCIPLES WERE RUNNING ON EMPTY.

THEY HAD WORK TO DO AND PLACES TO GO

BUT THEY WERE STANDING ON THEIR OWN OXYGEN TUBE.

THEY WERE GOING NOWHERE FAST

AND GETTING NOTHING DONE.

EVER FELT LIKE THAT?

THEY LEFT JERUSALEM

AND WENT BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM --

THE SEA OF GALILEE --

THEY DID THE ONLY THING THEY KNEW HOW TO DO.

FISH.

THEY WERE GUIDING NOBODY.

PETER THEIR LEADER WASN'T GIVING ANY ORDERS,

PETER WAS ONLY SPEAKING FOR HIMSELF WHEN HE SAID, I'M GOING FISHING.

THE OTHER DISCIPLES DIDN'T HAVE ANY PLANS

AND NONE OF THEM WANTED TO BE LEFT ALONE,

SO THEY WENT FISHING WITH PETER.

THE BEST TIME TO FISH WAS AT NIGHT

AND SO THEY FISHED ALL THAT NIGHT. (V 3).

THEY KNEW WHAT TO DO, WHERE TO GO

AND WHO TO TAKE. 

THEY HAD BEEN PROFESSIONAL FISHER MEN. 

BUT THAT NIGHT, THEY CAUGHT NOTHING.

THE LESSON HERE IS:


WITHOUT RESURRECTION POWER,

FAITH AND RELIGION ARE WORTH NOTHING.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:13-14 SAYS,

“IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, THEN NOT EVEN CHRIST HAS BEEN RAISED. AND IF CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD, OUR PREACHING IS USELESS AND SO IS YOUR FAITH.

JESUS USED THIS FAILED FISHING OPPORTUNITY

TO SHOW HIS DISCIPLES THAT BY THEMSELVES

THEIR LIVES WERE FUTILE AND FRUITLESS.        

ACTUALLY THEIR LIVES WERE FISHLESS.

BUT WITH JESUS' HELP, THEY COULD FIND REAL MEANING IN THEIR LIVES AGAIN.

BY ABANDONING THEIR OWN METHODS

AND ADOPTING HIS METHODS       

SUCH AS

THROWING THEIR NETS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOAT.

IT WAS IN THE FOLLOWING, TRUSTING AND OBEYING

HIS ORDERS,  THAT GOT THINGS DONE.

NOTICE THAT

JESUS DIDN'T JUST CALL FROM THE SHORE AND SAY,

HEY HERE I AM.  I’M THE LORD, AND I'M HERE.

HE WANTED THEM TO DISCOVER AND RECOGNIZE BY THEMSELVES          WHO HE WAS.

HE IS THE LORD--

THE ONE WHO HAS NO RULES ABOUT WHEN TO FISH

WHERE TO FISH       OR HOW TO FISH

AT THIS POINT

JESUS IS IN THE PROCESS OF BRINGING HIS DISCIPLES

BACK INTO THE MISSION.

HE'S RESTORING THEIR FOCUS.

HE COULD HAVE CAUGHT THE FISH FOR THEM

BUT HE HAD THE DISCIPLES DO IT --

JUST LIKE BACK AT THE BEGINNING OF JESUS' MINISTRY,

WHEN THE DISCIPLES FIRST UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WAS THE LORD HE HAD THE DISCIPLES DO SOMETHING.  (LK 5:8),

JESUS HAD THE DISCIPLES GO OUT INTO THE DEEP WATER AND LET DOWN THE NETS FOR A CATCH.

THERRE WAS THE TIME WHEN PETER TOOK THE COIN FROM THE FISH’S MOUTH TO PAY THE TAXES (MATT 17:27),

AND HERE AFTER THE RESURRECTION.

THERE WAS STILL A MISSION FOR THEM TO CARRY OUT.

JESUS WAS GIVING THEM A REASON TO LIVE.

7 THEN THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED SAID TO PETER, “IT IS THE LORD!”

AS SOON AS SIMON PETER HEARD HIM SAY, “IT IS THE LORD,”

HE WRAPPED HIS OUTER GARMENT AROUND HIM (FOR HE HAD TAKEN IT OFF)

AND JUMPED INTO THE WATER.

 

8 THE OTHER DISCIPLES FOLLOWED IN THE BOAT, TOWING THE NET FULL OF FISH, FOR THEY WERE NOT FAR FROM SHORE, ABOUT A HUNDRED YARDS.

9 WHEN THEY LANDED, THEY SAW A FIRE OF BURNING COALS THERE WITH FISH ON IT, AND SOME BREAD.

 

10 JESUS SAID TO THEM, “BRING SOME OF THE FISH YOU HAVE JUST CAUGHT.”

11 SIMON PETER CLIMBED ABOARD AND DRAGGED THE NET ASHORE. IT WAS FULL OF LARGE FISH, 153, BUT EVEN WITH SO MANY THE NET WAS NOT TORN.

 

12 JESUS SAID TO THEM, “COME AND HAVE BREAKFAST.”

NONE OF THE DISCIPLES DARED ASK HIM, “WHO ARE YOU?”

THEY KNEW IT WAS THE LORD.

 

13 JESUS CAME, TOOK THE BREAD AND GAVE IT TO THEM,

AND DID THE SAME WITH THE FISH.

14 THIS WAS NOW THE THIRD TIME JESUS APPEARED TO HIS DISCIPLES AFTER HE WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD. (JOHN 21:7-14)

IN THE BOOK “THREE OF CHINA’S MIGHTY MEN” BY LESLIE LYALL WE READ THE STORY OF MINGDAO WANG, THE MOST RENOWNED CHRISTIAN FIGURE IN CHINA.

IN 1951 MANY CHRISTIANS WERE ARRESTED AND FEAR DOMINATED THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

AS ONE PROMINENT CHRISTIAN AFTER ANOTHER WAS IDENTIFIED, ARRESTED AND PUNISHED.

THERE WAS A VIOLENT CAMPAIGN OF ABUSE AGAINST THE CHURCH AND CHRISTIANS.


WANG WAS AN OBVIOUS TARGET AND AFTER MANY REPEATED WARNINGS, UNEASY CONFRONTATIONS AND CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, WANG WAS ARRESTED

AFTER PREACHING HIS LAST SERMON ON AUGUST 7th 1955,

THE CHURCH WAS CLOSED AND SEALED.

THE WORLD WAS SHOCKED WITH HIS ARREST,

BUT WAS MORE STUNNED BY HIS ADMISSION. WHEN WANG WAS RELEASED FROM PRISON ON SEPTEMBER 30TH, FIFTY-THREE DAYS LATER, HE READ A STATEMENT OF PUBLIC CONFESSION THAT WOULD SHAKE AND DISMAY THE CHRISTIAN WORLD:

“I AM A PERSON OF GUILTY OF ANTI-REVOLUTIONARY DEEDS. I AM OBLIGED TO THE PATIENT EDUCATION OF THE GOVERNMENT WHICH MADE ME REALIZE MY OWN MISTAKES, AND YET THE GOVERNMENT DEALT WITH ME GENUINELY AND HAS DELIVERED ME FROM THE GULF OF CRIME.” (P 135)

AFTER HIS RELEASE, WANG BATTLED WITH HIMSELF. HE WAS HEARD TO GO ABOUT SAYING, “I AM PETER” OR SOMETIMES HE WOUKLD SAY “I AM JUDAS.”

LATER, HE INFORMED THE AUTHORITIES THAT HIS STATEMENT HAD BEEN MADE UNDER DURESS AND IN NO WAY REPRESENTED HIS OWN TRUE CONVICTIONS.

HE WAS PUT BACK IN JAIL.

IN 1973, 18 YEARS LATER, HIS WIFE WAS RELEASED AND AFTER MORE THAN TWO DECADES IN PRISON,

IN 1980, WANG, THE MOST FAMOUS CHINESE DISSIDENT OF ALL,

WAS RELEASED AND SENT THIS MESSAGE TO HIS PRAYER SUPPORTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORD:

“VERY MANY THANKS TO ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE LORD WHO HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR ME. PLEASE TELL BROTHERS AND SISTERS ALL OVER THE WORLD THAT DURING THE TWENTY TWO YEARS IN PRISON,

I HAVE SOMETIMES BEEN LIKE PETER BUT NEVER LIKE JUDAS. THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES OF WEAKNESS BUT FROM 1974 I HAVE BEEN GREATLY STRENGTHENED JUST LIKE I WAS THIRTY YEARS AGO.” (P 137)

AFTER JESUS’ RESURRECTION, PETER WAS TRANSFORMED FROM A LIFE WITHOUT A PURPOSE INTO A LIFEFORCE.

THE RESURRECTED CHRIST IS A LIFEFORCE

THAT WILL PROPELL US INTO A FUTURE

THAT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.

__________________________________________________________

AFTER JESUS’ DEATH, NOTHING WAS WORKING FOR PETER.

HE WASN'T LEADING THE DISCIPLES,

HE WASN'T CATCHING FISH.

AND HE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THE LORD ON THE SHORE

UNTIL JOHN SAID SOMETHING.

HOW DIFFERENT LIFE FOR PETER HAD  BECOME.

NOTHING WAS WORKING.

HE WAS RESIGNED TO LIVE A LIFE OF HELPLESSNESS.

HE FELT HOPELESS

AND HEARTLESS.

HE WAS LISTLESS, HIS VERY LIFE WAS DRAINED FROM HIM.

HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE THAT.

BUT THEN HE HEARD JOHN SAY,

“IT IS THE LORD,”

HE WRAPPED HIS OUTER GARMENT AROUND (FOR HE HAD TAKEN IT OFF) AND JUMPED INTO THE WATER. (21:8)

PETER JUMPED INTO THE WATER.

HE DIDN’T CARE WHERE THE DISCIPLES WERE,

HOW MUCH THEY’D CAUGHT

OR WHEN THEY WOULD GET TO SHORE.

ALL HE HAD ON HIS MIND WAS THAT JESUS WAS ON THE SHORE.

HIS LIFE WAS ON THE SHORE.

HIS EVERYTHING WAS ON THE SHORE,

AND HE WAS GOING THERE AS FAST AS HE COULD.

BUT NOW, THERE WAS A CHANGE IN PETER?

BEFORE, HE WAS A MAN, WHO NEVER LACKED FOR SOMETHING TO SAY.

NOW HE WAS SPEECHLESS.

JESUS SAID TO ALL THE DISCIPLES, “BRING SOME OF THE FISH YOU HAVE JUST CAUGHT” (V 10), AND PETER CLIMBED ABOARD AND DRAGGED THE NET ASHORE. IT WAS FULL OF LARGE FISH, 153, BUT EVEN WITH SO MANY THE NET WAS NOT TORN

PETER’S EMOTIONAL STATE WAS TRANSFORMED THAT DAY, HIS ENERGY WAS RESTORED THAT DAY.

HE GRABBED THAT NET AND DRAGGED IT TO SHORE.

IF THE AVERAGE WEIGHT OF THE FISH WERE 2 POUNDS EACH THEN THE 153 FISHES WEIGHED OVER 300 POUNDS.

BUT THE LORD HAD SAID TO BRING SOME OF THE FISH,

AND PETER WAS GOING TO DO WHATEVER HIS LORD TOLD HIM TO DO.

THE STRANGE THING ABOUT PETER WAS THAT WHEN HE GOT TO THE SHORE, HE NEVER WENT ANY CLOSER TO JESUS.  HE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING.

HERE WAS A MAN WHO’S CHARACTER HAD CHANGED.

PETER,

WHO WAS NOT KNOWN FOR BEING SILENT, INVISIBLE OR DULL,

WAS NOW AS SPEECHLESS AS A PIECE OF WOOD.

NOTICE THAT JESUS HIMSELF TOOK THE INITIATIVE,

HE  CALLED FOR THE FISHES

AND GAVE EVERYONE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACT.

JESUS PREPARED THE FIRE

FOR THESE COLD, DRIPPING AND TIRED FISHERMEN,

JESUS, CHARBROILED THE FISH WHILE THEY WERE DRYING OFF.

JESUS EXTENDED FORGIVENESS

AND FELLOWSHIP TO THEM.

HE GOT UP, GAVE THEM BREAD

AND INSTRUCTED THEM TO EAT (LUKE 8:55).

JESUS CALLED THEM, “FRIENDS”.

HE WAS MORE AFFECTIONATE AND COMPASSIONATE THAN EVER BEFORE.       JESUS HAD FELLOWSHIP IN MIND.

NOW WE COME TO A VERY INTIMATE TIME BETWEEN PETER AND HIS LORD.


15 WHEN THEY HAD FINISHED EATING, JESUS SAID TO SIMON PETER,

“SIMON SON OF JOHN, DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE?”

“YES, LORD,” HE SAID, “YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU.”

JESUS SAID, “FEED MY LAMBS.”

 

16 AGAIN JESUS SAID, “SIMON SON OF JOHN, DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME?”

HE ANSWERED, “YES, LORD, YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU.”

JESUS SAID, “TAKE CARE OF MY SHEEP.”

 

17 THE THIRD TIME HE SAID TO HIM, “SIMON SON OF JOHN,

DO YOU LOVE ME?”

PETER WAS HURT BECAUSE JESUS ASKED HIM THE THIRD TIME, “DO YOU LOVE ME?”

HE SAID, “LORD, YOU KNOW ALL THINGS; YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU.”

JESUS SAID, “FEED MY SHEEP.

 

EXPLAIN AGAPAEO AND PHILEO.

 

THE FIRST QUESTION IN GREEK WAS,

“SIMON SON OF JOHN, DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE?”

(AGAPAO – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE)

PETER’S REPLY WAS “YES, LORD, YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU.” (PHILEO – FRIENDLY LOVE)

JESUS COUNTERED, “FEED MY LAMBS.”

THE FIRST AND LAST “FEED” (BOSKO) LITERALLY MEANS FEEDING OR PROVIDING FOOD.

THIS IS THE BIBLICAL WORD PIGS FEEDING (MATT 8:30, MARK 5:11, LUKE 8:32) OR FEEDING PIGS (MATT 8:33, MARK 5:14, LUKE 8:34, LUKE 15:15).

THE SECOND QUESTION OF JESUS IS SHORTENED TO

“DO YOU LOVE ME?”

(“MORE THAN THESE” IS MISSING)

BUT PETER’S REPLY WAS THE SAME ANSWER AS BEFORE. JESUS CHALLENGED HIM TO “TAKE CARE OF MY SHEEP.”

                          

“TAKE CARE” IS FOR NURTURING OR TENDING.

THIS WORD ELSEWHERE IS TRANSLATED AS

“BE SHEPHERDS” (ACTS 20:28, 1 PETER 5:2,
REV 7:17), “TEND” (1 COR 9:7),

“RULE” OR OVERSEE (REV 2:27).

JESUS’ PLAN WAS FOR PETER TO BE THE ROCK

FOR THE CHURCH, THE DISCIPLES AND THE WORLD,

IN THE END, JESUS’ LAST QUESTION IRONICALLY ENDED WITH A LESS PERSONAL “PHILEO” AND NOT “AGAPAO”

AND WITH THE HARD WORK OF “FEEDING” AGAIN.

 

AFTER THIS REINSTATEMENT OF PETER,

JESUS GOES ON TO TELL HIM...

 

18 I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER YOU DRESSED YOURSELF AND WENT WHERE YOU WANTED;

BUT WHEN YOU ARE OLD YOU WILL STRETCH OUT YOUR HANDS, AND SOMEONE ELSE WILL DRESS YOU AND LEAD YOU WHERE YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO.”

 

19 JESUS SAID THIS TO INDICATE THE KIND OF DEATH BY WHICH PETER WOULD GLORIFY GOD.

THEN HE SAID TO HIM, “FOLLOW ME!”

20 PETER TURNED AND SAW THAT THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED WAS FOLLOWING THEM.

(THIS WAS THE ONE WHO HAD LEANED BACK AGAINST JESUS AT THE SUPPER AND HAD SAID, “LORD, WHO IS GOING TO BETRAY YOU?”)

 

21 WHEN PETER SAW HIM, HE ASKED, “LORD, WHAT ABOUT HIM?” 22 JESUS ANSWERED, “IF I WANT HIM TO REMAIN ALIVE UNTIL I RETURN, WHAT IS THAT TO YOU? YOU MUST FOLLOW ME.”

 

23 BECAUSE OF THIS, THE RUMOR SPREAD AMONG THE BROTHERS THAT THIS DISCIPLE WOULD NOT DIE. BUT JESUS DID NOT SAY THAT HE WOULD NOT DIE; HE ONLY SAID, “IF I WANT HIM TO REMAIN ALIVE UNTIL I RETURN, WHAT IS THAT TO YOU?” (JOHN 21:15-23)

IN 1942, NAZI PRISONER SIMON WIESENTHAL WALKED TO A DYING

S. S. SOLDIER WHO CONFESSED TO KILLING A JEWISH FAMILY AND ASKED HIM FOR HIS FORGIVENESS. IN WIESENTHAL’S 1969 BOOK “THE SUNFLOWER,” PHILOSOPHERS AND THEOLOGIANS WERE ASKED HOW THEY WOULD HAVE RESPONDED.

U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT ASKED SIMON WIESENTHAL THIS QUESTION: “HOW DID YOU CONSIDER THE SOLDIER’S REQUEST?” WIESENTHAL REPLIED, “THE MAN’S HEAD WAS BANDAGED. HE SEARCHED FOR MY HAND. HE TOLD ME HIS SIN. HE TOOK MY HAND. HE SAID, ‘BEFORE I DIE, I NEED A JEW TO SAY HE FORGIVES ME.’ HE BELIEVED ONE JEW COULD SPEAK FOR ALL JEWS. IN ME THERE WAS A SAD FEELING. A DYING MAN’S ONE LAST WISH. I SHOULD FULFILL IT. HE WAS OBVIOUSLY SORRY AND I WAS THE LAST JEW IN HIS LIFE. I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING. I WALKED OUT.” (US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT 6/16/97)

THE GOSPEL IS GLORIOUS BUT NEVER GLAMOROUS.

IT IS ABOUT SERVICE, STEWARDSHIP, SACRIFICE, SELFLESSNESS AND SURRENDER.

FINALLY, JESUS REISSUED THE COMMAND FOR PETER TO FOLLOW HIM.

PRESENTLY HE ASKED JESUS ABOUT JOHN,

“HOW ABOUT JOHN?”

LEGEND HAS IT THAT PETER ASKED TO BE CRUCIFIED UPSIDE DOWN, LIKE AND UNLIKE HIS SAVIOR.

HE FELT HE WAS UNWORTHY TO BE CRUCIFIED LIKE HIS MASTER.

CONCLUSION: ARE YOU TRYING TO DO GOD’S WORK

BY YOURSELF -

IN YOUR POWER,

FOR YOUR PROMINENCE AND PROFIT?

WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES IN YOUR WAY

WHAT'S KEEPING YOU FROM LIVING A NEW LIFE

POWERED BY GOD’S RESURRECTION POWER?

ISN’T IT TIME YOU RID YOURSELF OF SHAME, GUILT AND DESPAIR

AND TRY OUT GOD’S SALVATION, GOODNESS AND DELIVERANCE?

DO YOU HAVE THE HEART TO LIVE

AND THE HANDS TO WORK        FOR GOD?

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