Testing Peter’s love

Scripture reading for November 5th: John 18-21

Peter, one of Jesus’ most trusted disciples, denied Jesus three times after His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. (John 18:22-27)  Jesus had predicted this would happen and Peter had wept bitterly, knowing he had let down his close friend.

Peter and a number of the disciples had decided to go fishing in the Sea of  Tiberius (Galilee).  They fished all night and by morning had nothing to show for.  As they were approaching shore, Jesus stood there and called out to them.  They didn’t recognize Him as the Lord.  He told them to throw their net on the right side of the boat.  When they did, they were unable to haul their net into the boat because of the great number of fish!  John recognized Jesus at that point and told Peter.  Peter immediately jumped into the water and came to Jesus, who was already cooking for the tired fishermen.  John’s account states that this was the third time Jesus appeared to them after the resurrection.

After Jesus served them the meal, Jesus turned to Simon Peter and asked him a question. “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.” (John 21:15)  This was repeated three times in similar fashion.  Peter’s feelings were hurt because Jesus asked him three times. (John 21:17)  Jesus spoke prophetically to Peter about how he would die to glorify God and called Peter to follow Him.

Jesus wants us all to affirm our love for Him on a daily basis.  In Peter’s case, he was called to feed the lambs and sheep and care for the Master’s flock of people.   Love for Jesus is demonstrated by obedience!  What is it the the Lord has called and equipped you to do?  Why not affirm your love for Him today?

A final thought concerns Peter’s death.  Tradition says that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome.  He chose that because he felt unworthy to die as his Lord Jesus had!  Peter’s life and death brought glory to God!  We must live in obedience to the Lord!  “To live is Christ, to die is gain!” (Philippians 1:21)

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