Six disciples, weary and worn from fishing all night were headed to shore when they heard a man call out from the bank, “Friends, do you have any fish?”
The disciples answered back: “No!”
“Then throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some!”
Who was this man to tell them how to fish? After all, hadn't fishing been their occupation and livelihood? Hadn’t they fished all night and caught nothing? Hadn’t they already been all over that little boat but their net was still empty? Had they not tried everything they could to snag even one measly fish? Nevertheless, they cast their net on the right side of the boat and hauled in 153 large fish!
Simon Peter then recognized the man standing on the shore and said, “It’s the Lord!” He didn’t wait another minute and jumped into the water and swam to his beloved Savior.
Since they weren’t very far from shore, the other disciples decided to tow the large amount of fish. When they landed their boat, the aroma of grilled fish and bread filled the air and tempted their taste buds. Jesus asked them to bring some of their fish and have some breakfast so the hungry men made their way to receive the sustenance He had prepared for them. This was the third time Jesus appeared to them after He was raised from the dead.
After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Simon, son of Jonas, do you truly love me more than these?”
Peter answered and said, “Lord, you know I love you.
Jesus said in response, “Feed my lambs.”
A second time Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?”
Peter answered once again, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
A third time Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved that he was being asked the same question and said, “Lord you know all things and you know that I love you!”
Jesus said to Peter once again, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:1-18)
Jesus asked Simon Peter three times if he loved Him because he was the one who said he would die with Jesus. He said at the last supper before Jesus was crucified, but instead, Peter denied Jesus three times before the sun came up the next morning. Would he spiritually feed the lambs and sheep? Did he have enough love for Jesus to do those things for Him? Would he prove himself faithful?
Jesus was concerned for His lambs and sheep. You know the kind. Not the ones grazing on a grassy hillside somewhere, but the human kind, God’s own beloved lambs and sheep. Lambs and sheep like you and me.
Jesus was in need of someone to care for the helpless ones, nurturing them and spending time with them. He needed someone to help encourage others in the faith. He needed someone to be a rock and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus needed a shepherd to lead the lost to Him and someone to give hope to the hopeless. Yes, there was much to be done!
Who would minister healing and deliverance to His people when the time came to ascend to His Father? Who would look after His lambs and sheep then? Could He trust Simon Peter? Jesus needed to ask a few questions to see what Simon Peter’s response was going to be. The choice was Peter’s alone and the decision would hinge on Peter’s love for Jesus.
Would Simon Peter be willing to take those calloused hands of his that struggled with nets bringing in fish and become a fisher of men? Would he use those hands to touch the helpless and the hopeless? Would he be willing to touch someone with the love of Christ and bring healing to the people?
Jesus is asking that of you and me. Who will go for Him? Who will make a difference to others? Who will care for the lost and dying? Who will touch the needy?
Ministry involves doing acts of kindness, healing and giving love to God’s lambs and sheep. Those who minister must bring healing to those little lambs and sheep. When we minister in those ways, we are personally stepping in and doing the work of Jesus and becoming His hands and feet. When we put an arm around someone who needs comfort, our arms become as the arms of Jesus. When we use kind lips to speak words of sympathy to one who is hurting or mourning, our lips become as the lips of Jesus. When we’re willing to do those things, we become a reflection of our Savior, who is more compassionate than we’ll ever know in this lifetime. Actually, we’ll never know what kind of impact we have had on those lambs and sheep until we get to heaven.
Can the Savior trust us with His little ones? Can He trust us to love as He loves, to care as He cares, and be compassionate as He is? Can He trust us to soothe a wounded heart that has been shattered? To be like Jesus is what He would have us to be.
Life will be meaningless without becoming an extension of Christ's love. May our arms be as His arms. May our hearts be as His heart. May our minds be as His mind. May we be like Jesus.
To Be Like Jesus
To be like Jesus
To be like Jesus
All I ask- to be like Him
All through life's journey
From earth to glory
All I ask- to be like Him
Prayer: Dear Father, so dear to my heart, so loving and kind, so tender and compassionate, may we be more like Your loving Son, caring for the lambs and sheep. May we be an extension of His arms and feet. May we obey when He says go. May we spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. May we love as You first loved us. Thank you for your lovingkindness to us. May we be as Jesus. In His name. Amen.