Jesus spoke these words three times, to Peter.
“Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. -John 21:17 KJV
“I don’t want to hear God say, ‘You cared more about following people than me. You were supposed to feed the others, not follow them’.” -Hannah Brencher-
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” –Galatians 6:2
I am not here to follow people. I am here to serve people; to feed them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am here to bear the burdens of those around me. I am here to be here. To be present. To be where my feet are. To show up when people need me. To turn off the screens and look people in the eye when they speak to me. To let them know I’m listening. I’m here to show people that they are more important than whatever is happening on the other end of the screen. Because they are here. This is now. And we’ll never have this time again. “Today is not rehearsal. This is your life.” -Dale Partridge-
This is our life. It’s time to really start living. We don’t get a redo and being present is our calling.
Jesus is calling us to feed His sheep.
He wants us to be doers like He was. He wants us to meet with people. Go over for dinner even when people think we’re crazy for being that person’s friend. Remember the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19)? Cry with people and laugh with them too. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” –1 Corinthians 12:26-
It takes more than showing up.
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” –Hebrews 10:24
Wow. Provoke? Every time I think of that word, I think of someone making me extremely angry on purpose. Consider others and provoke them to love. Provoke them. Push them to the point of love, on purpose. Intentionally make them want to do good things.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:25. We’ve got to band together with the people who can teach us and with people willing to be taught by us. The Bible says exhort each other.
Synonyms for exhort:
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” –Hebrews 3:13
Juxtapose that and think about the real effects of exhortation.
We’ve got to show up, but we must do. Action is key. Love. Doing good. Togetherness. Being the catalyst for the person next to us. That is how we feed His sheep.
When I read John 21, I imagine it went down kind of like this:
Jesus looks to Simon Peter and says, “Do you love Me more than anything else?
Peter replies with something I’m sure we’d all say if we were sitting next to Jesus at dinner, “Yes. You know I do.”
But Jesus doesn’t come back with a typical reply. He says something that kind of seems out of the blue. “Feed my sheep.”
Peter goes back to his dinner.
Again, Jesus asks him, “Do you love Me?”
This look forms on Peter’s face like, can you hear me? You just asked me that. “Of course I do.”
And Jesus throws His same response back at Peter. “Then why aren’t you feeding my sheep?”
(Crickets chirping on Peter’s end…)
Jesus, “Do you love Me?” It’s like a cycle of do you love me, yes, then prove it; but there seems to be no action to prove it.
Peter pipes in again, “Come on Man, I just told you I love you. You already know everything. You can read my mind. I do love You!”
Still, Jesus is sitting there, getting a response in words when He’s looking for a response of action. “Then what are you standing here for?” I imagine Jesus saying. “Feed my sheep.” If I could read Jesus’ mind I’d imagine Him thinking “If you did love me, you wouldn’t be sitting here talking about it. You’d be out there feeding My sheep.”
I want to prove my love for my Savior.
Let’s prove the love we have for Him. He deserves it. Let’s call upon each other for encouragement and advice. Let’s set each other up to do great things; to love and to do good. Let’s propel each other forward by bringing excitement in the Word of God. I want us to be a people who are in love with the things that will keep us in love. Let’s be in love with the Word of God and prayer. They are the things that will keep us. Let’s join together and listen to the preaching from a man sent by God, Himself. Let’s be there for each other and do good things for the people who are here in our lives, right now. Do you love Him? Then where is your proof?