Loving Jesus Requires Faith in Action

Today’s post-resurrection appearance is a continuation of the fishing scene I wrote about in Encountering Jesus brings on May 17, 2019.  When they (Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, John and James and  two other disciples) had followed Jesus’ instructions and cast their nets as He directed, they hauled in a great catch.  Jesus had a welcoming fire waiting on the beach and beckoned them to bring some fish for roasting.   They ate together and then Jesus spoke to Peter.

john 21 15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. ”  John 21:15-17

Jesus had previously had an encounter with Peter where I’m sure they dealt with Peter’s great guilt over his denial.  (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5)  Scholars put this first appearance to Peter on Resurrection Sunday where this encounter in Galilee is later.  Here it would seem Jesus is making a point of asking Peter about his proclaimed love for Him.  He asks 3 times, like his denials.  Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him and if he does, then Peter is to show his love for His sheep.  He is to feed or tend to His sheep.  Throughout the gospels sheep have been synonymous with followers and my sheep specifically believers in Jesus.   John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  Jesus is the good shepherd who died for all believers.  John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,”  and John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”   Jesus is asking Peter to demonstrate his love for Him by leading, tending, loving, caring for, guiding, protecting…. those who are believers in Jesus.  He is saying ‘be a good shepherd’ to the flock of believers that come into your life.

Isn’t that what Jesus wants for us too?  As believers, like Peter, we are to look out for others, lead them towards Jesus, care for them, show them kindness and give that ‘cup of cold water’ in His name.  Knowing Jesus, requires us to take up this ‘job’ and love others.  We do it not because we have to but because we love Jesus.  James tells us faith without works is dead (James 2:26 ) and loving and showing Jesus to others is our compelling love Jesuswork for Him.  We do it not out of obligation or for future reward but out of love for our Savior.  Who will you show love to today?  Who will you ‘feed or tend’ in Jesus’ name?

Linda

“Stand with me bro” I need you by my side.

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have brothers and sisters in Christ.  Jesus speaks of His family of faith and calls us His brothers, sisters and Bro and sis familymother in Matthew 12:48-50. ” 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”    Jesus’ earthly family had come looking for Him and this was His reply.   Those who believe in Jesus and strive to follow God’s Word are considered family by Jesus.   What a privileged position this is!  Not only are we linked to Jesus but we share a family position with all believers who know Him as Lord and seek to follow His ways.  

This family bond is something very special.  I have sisters in Christ that I see infrequently as our paths in life have taken different directions.  It is amazing to me that when we meet it is as if we were never apart.  That instant bond is there and we see love, trust and hope in being with each other.  When a brother or sister leaves, it is always with the hope of seeing them again either here on earth or in heaven.  The constancy of the bond of fellowship is always present and binds us in love.

Here are a few scriptures about brothers and sisters in Christ and how we are to work together:  Romans 15:30 “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,”  We are to pray and strive together to do God’s will.    1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  We are to stand together firmly as we work for the Lord with hope.    Philippians 4:1 “Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.”  We have a shared love in Christ and a desire to stand firmly for Christ.    2 Thessalonians 3:13 “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.”   We are to work together to do good in the name of Christ.

What a great comfort and encouragement it is that we have brothers and sisters in faith that we can stand with in our shared love for Christ and work together to accomplish His purposes.

Linda

bro and sis in ChristSuggestionTell one of your brothers or sisters in Christ how you appreciate their prayers on your behalf or how you love standing and working with them or how much you love and appreciate them or how much it means to you to have someone to share in the good work of Jesus or all of the above!  A kind work of appreciation brings glory to God as He works within us.