Peter was with Jesus from the beginning to the end…yes, we know that. Did you know that his beginning started with “Follow Me” and ended with the same words?
When I was a child we often sang a delightful song with the words,”I Will Make You Fishers of Men”. Even today, so many years past childhood, I can still sing the words and hear the melody in my mind.
Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he saw Simon Peter and his brother Andrew fishing in the lake. He said to them, “Follow Me and we’ll fish for people.” And so they did. Further on down the road he came upon James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were in the boat with their father. Jesus said the same thing to them, “Follow Me” and they did. That little story, in my own words, is found in Matthew 4:18-22.
Let’s travel three years into the future. The four have followed Jesus faithfully, fully immersed in His journey. They have watched Him closely, learned from Him, shared His words with others, been at the Cross with Him and He is about to return to the Father. In this scene we find them once again by the side of a lake. Jesus has cooked them breakfast and when they done eating He says to Peter, “Do you love me?” Peter answers, “You know I love You!” This went on two more times, each time Peter answered positively and Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep (or lambs)”. It was very important for Peter to understand what his future was to be about, but something even more important is said at the end of this conversation. Jesus tells him what his death will be like and then He says, “Follow Me!” (John 12:15-19)
Why did Jesus say these words again? He knew Peter so well and knew that he needed reminded that it’s not about him, that to follow Him, Peter would have to take himself out of the picture. It’s the same message for us. We are are to follow Him and forget ourselves. From the beginning to the end of our relationship with Him it has to be all about HIM.
Heavenly Father, teach us to make this life all about You. Teach us to put others first. Teach us to serve those around us. Oh, LORD, teach us!
Thank you Marie a very good focus, as we know when Jesus was saying to Peter do you Love me He was using the word Agape, meaning selfless, sacrificial, unconditional Love, the highest kind of Love, this is the same as Jesus has for us but Peter’s love was worldly and based on feelings, when we follow Jesus we won’t always be Happy Clappy as Paul confirms in the Scripture below, do we Love Him enough to suffer for Him like Paul and others have, even today Christians are being persecuted and killed and this will increase.
2Corinthians 11:24-31 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own Countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the Churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
What did Paul hold onto in his trials, what kept him safe so he was not burned up by Satan’s Testing, the same empowering that keeps us strong to the end.
Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”
Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
Christian Love from both of us – Anne.
Blessings Anne! Thanks for the awesome Word (s) !
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