Friday, May 13, 2016
Reflection: John 21:15-19
Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter - John 21:15-19
Today Jesus asked Simon Peter if he loves Jesus more than “these.” I wonder how Peter reacted to his question? Was he upset? Did Peter wonder what Jesus was getting at? Was Peter concerned that that Jesus was questioning his love and loyalty to Him?
Regardless of the thoughts going through his mind, Peter simply answered: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus then told Peter, “Feed my lambs.” A moment later, Jesus asked Peter the very same question. And once again, Peter told Jesus that he loved him. Jesus then said to Peter: “Tend my sheep.”
However, when Jesus asked Peter the third time, “Do you love me?”, Peter was very disturbed that Jesus again asked him this question. Jesus’ asking of the same question three times indicated to Peter that Jesus must have had some doubts about Peter’s loyalty to him. Peter’s frustration, pain, and dismay had to be evident to Jesus. Finally with great frustration in his voice, Peter says: “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.”
Jesus does not respond directly to Peter’s statement. Rather, He quietly and simply tells Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Jesus also tells Peter that he will be led in a new path, one that is unfamiliar to him. In the future, Peter will not be leading; rather, he will be led to a place where he will not want to go. Understandably, Peter did not know what to make of these statements.
At times we also may not understand what Jesus is saying to us. No matter who we are or what positions we hold, we are not in charge of our lives. We cannot control what our future will be. However, there is one area of control that we have: we can make the decision to walk with Jesus daily and to trust Him with all our hearts.
Jesus loves us and is with us every second of the day. Are we willing to give up our illusion of control and place our hands in Jesus’ hands? Jesus loves us and will walk with us every step of the way. Jesus will guide us and strengthen us when we need help to deal with life.
Jesus’ final statement to Peter was: “Follow me.” Today Jesus speaks those same two words to us. Jesus longs to walk with us each day. Will we follow him?