President's Blog: Following
I have been in the Gospel of John for my personal devotions lately. I just spent time in that wonderful passage on the restoration of Peter following his three denials …
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.” (John 21:15-19).
Today, I invite you to ask yourself the same questions that I am asking myself…
- Do I love Jesus more than “these”? That is, do I love Jesus more than anyone or anything else? Do I love Jesus more than my “fishing” – my job, my role, my position, my calling?
- Am I giving myself to “tending” and “feeding” the sheep that God has placed under my care? Or, is there some way that I have let God down (as Peter did), and I am inclined to beat myself up or place myself on the shelf?
- I am challenged by Jesus final words to Peter – “Follow me!” Today, am I simply following?
This passage is a meaningful passage to me. For close to 25 years I have lived by this simple mission statement: My calling is to love, lead, feed, and seed. But today I remind myself that before I lead I need to follow.
Have a great week loving, feeding and following!