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!