JOHN 21:15-22 – 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.” He 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.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the 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. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
THEME OF THE DAY: AN AUDIENCE OF ONE. It would be easy to simply be amazed how quickly this occurred in Peter’s life, and maybe even whisper, “How could he?” Let’s set the scene. Jesus just served the disciples breakfast. What followed was an intimate one-on-one conversation with Peter. We know the story. Three times the Lord asked him, “Do you love me?” in parallel to Peter’s three denials. In Jesus’ questioning, there is no condemnation, no “I told you so”. Only love and restoration. No doubt Peter was overjoyed with the Lord’s gracious treatment of him and still another opportunity of serving Him. But then it happened. Fast. It also happens fast in our lives and the spiritual consequences are severe.
The conversation quickly shifted and so did Peter’s gaze – Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” (John 21:20-21).
And here is the lesson we may learn from Peter. Its scripture application is found in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews; keeping our gaze upon the Lord Jesus – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Friends, live life before an audience of One – Christ. Constantly guard against being envious toward others and being critical of others. Both bring chastisement from the Lord and spiritual barrenness in our walks with the Lord. Live with one goal in life – please the Lord. And do so remembering on Judgment Day that is all that will matter. Such thinking and living will cause us to keep a steady gaze upon the Lord Jesus; a fixation on Him, not people.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I become envious or critical of others because I took my eyes off Your Son.”
QUOTE: “Live all of life before an audience of One – the Lord Jesus. That is all that will matter on Judgment Day.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,