Friday 3rd May 2019
Let’s remind ourselves of our reading this week:
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
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.”
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. Very truly I tell you, 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.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
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?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers 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?”
This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21 v 15 – 25)
As you examine your unique calling, consider three important lessons from the call of Peter.
First, when the Lord offers an opportunity to transform futility into fruitfulness, be open to change. Be careful to avoid interpreting circumstances as indicators of God’s will. Note that Jesus called Peter to leave his profession as a fisherman—a significant change in direction—even after giving him a miraculously large catch.
The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.
Second, when Jesus plans to move you in a new and challenging direction, expect a period of deep soul-searching. Finding clarity can be a difficult challenge when distractions clamor for your attention. The days following the resurrection of Jesus were probably quiet ones for Peter, and he likely felt cast aside. Only when the time was right did Jesus confront His formerly impetuous disciple with a challenge. Peter’s call came as the humiliation of his failure echoed in his head and his business associates prepared a huge haul of fish for the market. Circumstances would suggest that he would be a better fisherman than spiritual leader.
For Peter, the defining issue was not passion, it was love. Don’t miss that. Whom did he love, and would honoring that love be his first priority? Once those questions had been answered, his future became clear.
Third, when the Lord makes it clear you’re to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others. Even as Peter heard the call of Jesus for the fourth time, he could not resist a glance over his shoulder. Peter must have thought, Who am I compared to Mr. Faithfulness?
But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: “Follow Me.” If anyone had disqualified himself as the leader among the early Christians, it was certainly the one who denied his relationship with Jesus when the situation grew tense. Who would want an emotional, vacillating, impetuous firebrand to lead the people of God?
Have a good day!
Pastor Peter Jordan