Love for Christ Determines Reliability
Today I would like to show you how the amount of love you have for God, determines how much He relies on you. He knows your heart and therefore positions you in life based on the way you esteem Him.
Jesus Questions Peter's Love for Him
In the book of John chapter 21 verse 15, Jesus asks Peter if He loved Him more than the other disciples loved Him? It is obvious that Jesus is speaking to Peter directly on the subject of Peter’s love for Him as in verses 16 through 17, Jesus continues to ask Peter if he loves Him? As Peter responds with affirming yes answers, Jesus continues to commission him with assignments regarding taking care of the church as the new leader. One might ask, “How do you know Jesus was putting Peter in charge of the church?” With this question in mind, here are three confirmations to Jesus questioning Peter’s love for Him as a commissioning moment.
First; Jesus told Peter and Peter only, two times to feed His sheep and one time to tend the flock or as the New International Version states, take care of His sheep. In order to feed sheep or tend a flock, a person must be a shepherd. Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd in John chapter 10 verse 11. Therefore, we can assume that Jesus is passing His shepherding duties on to Peter.
Second; Jesus charges Peter to be a Shepherd in an ongoing manner. In verse 15 of John chapter 21, in the New International Version of the bible, after Peter’s affirming response, Jesus says, “feed My lambs.” In verse 16 after Peter’s affirming response, Jesus says, “take care of My sheep.” In verse 17 after Peter’s affirming response, Jesus says, “feed My sheep.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a lamb is a young sheep. I point this out to show how Jesus went from asking Peter to feed His lambs and finishes the commission by asking him to feed His sheep. Therefore, Jesus was saying feed the young believers or lambs in verse 15, take care of the believers as they grow in verse 16, then continue to feed the believers in their adult stage as sheep in verse 17.
Third; Jesus in verse 15 of John chapter 21 is stated to have waited until He and His disciples finished eating to question Peter on His love for Him. Jesus not only wanted Peter’s attention but also the other disciples’ attention in order show them why Peter was to be the new leader or shepherd. He also let Peter know the what the requirements of being the leader called for pertaining to feeding, tending, and feeding the sheep again in front of the other disciples.
Why Peter Was Selected
Altogether, Jesus knew which disciple loved Him the most as Jesus was God and God knows our hearts. The Gospels also help us to see Peter’s love for Christ in three major ways. First; through the revelation of His Sonship being revealed to him, and Jesus responding to Peter with his new name going from Simon to Peter in reference to him as a rock. Second; Peter was the only disciple to step out of the boat onto the water as Jesus walked on water. If any of you know about being a disciple, a disciple is supposed to do everything their Rabbi or teacher does. Therefore, all of the disciples were supposed to step out of the boat. However, Peter’s act goes to show how much more eager He was to follow Christ in comparison to the others. Lastly, as Jesus was on His way to be tried by the high priest, Peter followed at a distance while the others were nowhere near. Though Peter denied Him three times when asked if he knew Christ, Peter’s following Christ whereabouts showed His interest and passion for His Savior.
In closing, if we desire to be used by the Lord, our hearts must be in line with His Word so that love can move us. Why, because our love for the Lord, determines how much God will rely on us.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Ryan D Neely