Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly 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 truly 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.” (John 21:15–17, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Three denials, three appeals to love Him by feeding His sheep. Put yourself in Peter’s sandals. We show our love for Christ when we serve Him. When fail to serve Him we are, in a sense, denying Him that love. If Jesus tied these two things together (love Him, feed His Sheep), there is a definite connection. Have there been times we passed up opportunities to witness to lost sheep? We denied Him. Have there been times when we could have helped someone grow in their faith but were too busy? We denied Him. Have we failed to minister to those who are oppressed and hurting? We denied Him.
My Advice – Being an under shepherd (you don’t have to be a Pastor or Elder) involves not only evangelism and disciple making. It also involves caring about the cares of your brothers and sisters in Christ. All three are ways of feeding His sheep.
Just as he [Peter] was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:60–62, NIV 1984). Imagine that look. Let’s not just love Him, let’s truly love Him. We don’t want that look.