We continue with our study of the Gospel of John. Picking up at verse 17 of Chapter 21, we read:
“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? Peter replied, ‘Lord, You know all things, you know that I love You.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.” (John 21: 17)
Last week we discussed the different ways the word Love was expressed as Jesus used it the three times He asked Peter, ‘Do You love Me’; and how the word Love, was used the three times by Peter, as he replied. This week using the same verses, lets look at the other major part of the replies of Peter, when the Lord asked him, “Do you love Me?, and the beautiful response of Jesus to Peter’s replies.
As we have said, it appears Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him, because of the three times Peter denied being one of His disciples, or even knowing Him the night He was arrested. This may have been part of the reason, because in this exchange we see Peter step up and come to the full realization that he was still on the Team, and that he was being given an assignment going forward. Jesus made it clear He wanted Peter to understand there was work to be done, and he was asking him to do it. He told Peter, the first time: ‘Feed my lambs.’ A lamb is a baby, and needs special attention. They have a tendency to wander away since they have not learned to listen to and trust the voice of the Shepherd. Jesus told Peter the second time to “Take care of My Sheep.” He was saying even the full grown sheep need special attention from the Shepherd. Take care of them. On the third time, after Jesus asked, “Do you love?” and Peter responded, “Lord You know ALL things, You KNOW that I love you.”, Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” Do what you need to do, just ‘Feed my Sheep .’ Of course the Lord was talking about us. We are His Sheep.
We are His Sheep, but Each of us can grow into Shepherds. We are given opportunities to help the Lord grow our flocks from Lambs, to Sheep. We “Feed the Sheep.” by encouraging them to eat the green grass, ‘that is the Word’ and drink the still waters – that is to be filled with the Spirit – and we see them born again – that is transformed from a lamb, to sheep, to a Shepherd. The transformation is not in the body of course, it is in the Spirit. In our mind, heart, and soul. We are here to become. The Word says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. We are here to be what and where the Lord needs us. We are here to become, to create, to feed, to grow and develop. We look to the Lord, and He looks to us to help feed and develop (that is body, spirit, and mind) those He has assigned us to. We may be a lamb, a sheep, a lead sheep that has the bell around our neck that becomes a shepherd, or whatever we have become in this walk. In any event, He wants us to look after each other, and help each other become what we were put here to be. There are times to be fed, there are times to feed others. We continue to grow in Him as we serve wherever, and whoever we are, at the present time. Peter grew from a Fisherman to an Evangelist to that Rock he was called to be. He helped change the world. So it is for us as we love and listen to our Lord Jesus. He is the Word. Let us help Him as we “Feed His Sheep”, and are fed by the Shepherds above us. As we feed, and are fed, we are transformed by the renewing of our Minds . Let us pray for the world today. We feed His sheep as we do.