Thursday, May 28, 2009

Daily - 5/28/09

John 21:15-19

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."

16 He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."

17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." (Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep.

18 Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

19 He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."

This is the only dialogue between Peter and Christ that we see after the resurrection. Remember that Peter denied Christ three times immediately following the Upper Room discourse. We aren't really told what he's thinking, but he must have been filled with sorrow that his flesh failed him. Christ is gentle and loving in response.

This is a good dialogue to meditate over. Why did Christ ask Peter if he loved him .. and why three times? Each time Christ asks, Peter responds, and Christ gives him a command to obey. Tend my sheep. Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep. Follow me.

While thinking about that, remember the parable of the vine and the branches, and remember what came just after that in John 15:

9 As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.

10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.

We remain in Christ's love by keeping His commandments. We are called to believe and obey. As Christ tells Peter, the obedience part can be difficult at times. It means surrendering your own will to God's. For Peter, this ultimately meant martyrdom. God is calling all of us to that, but He is definitely calling all of us to something.

So how do we love Him? By obeying the call.