…from John 21:15-25
One morning after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples at the Sea of Galilee; and after they had joined Him at breakfast, He began to tell Simon Peter of things that were yet to be.
To begin with, Jesus asked Peter three times if He loved Him and, if so, to what extent. Peter answered each time that Jesus knew that He loved Him, so he wondered what all of this meant.
Three times, Peter had denied the Lord when Jesus had been taken into custody before His trial. So it seems this was the Lord’s way of reaffirming Peter’s commitment after that time of denial.
After each question about his love, Jesus said, “Tend My lambs; shepherd, and tend My sheep.” These were the Lord’s directions to Peter, for the days ahead, that He knew He could now trust him to keep.
Then He said that when Peter was younger, he had been free to walk whatever path he’d chosen to take; but as he went on to share the Gospel, he would be led by others to a destiny he wouldn’t choose to make.
Contemplating what Jesus said, Peter asked about the future of John, for instance, just having looked his way. We can take from Jesus’ answer that we must simply follow the Holy Spirit for our own lives after we pray.
Jesus told Peter, “Follow Me!” And today, He is saying the same to each of us, so we must listen for His voice. Then, when we hear, we, too, must follow Him, even if it would be something that wouldn’t be our choice.
So often, what may seem hard turns into a pathway of great blessing for others and ourselves, as well. Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. In worshiping Him as our Good Shepherd, all fears will be quelled.
At the end of the chapter, John made a comment on all of the other things that Jesus had done–and that the world itself couldn’t contain all the books that could be written about God’s Son.
Books have been written, too, about the lives of those who followed the Lord in their journeys here on this earth. Their lives were a testimony to a life yielded to Christ, which is a life lived to its highest worth.
P. A. Oltrogge