Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30)

Friday, November 29, 2019

2019.11.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 21:15-19

Questions from the Scripture text: When does this conversation begin (John 21:15)? What were they doing, when this conversation takes place? What does Jesus call Peter? What question does He ask him? How does Peter answer (using fileo instead of agapao)? And what does Jesus tell him to do? What does John 21:16 say about the question to begin? What does Jesus call him? What does Jesus ask him? How does Peter answer (again changing the verb)? What is the difference between Jesus’s command here and the one in verse 15? How does John 21:17 introduce the question? What does Jesus call him? What does Jesus ask (using Peter’s verb ‘fileo’ now)? How does Peter feel about this question? How does Peter answer Him this time? What command does Jesus give him this time? What information does Jesus add, in John 21:18, about the result that Peter should expect from his service to Christ and His flock? What did this signify (John 21:19)? 
Do you love Jesus? Ironically, if you do love Him, then I suspect that this means that you often feel pain over how poorly you love Him. And I suppose that few have felt this pain so much as Peter felt it, when he had denied his Lord those three times.

Even the restoration is painful. Perhaps the difference has been overstated between the unconditional love Jesus asked about the first two times, and the brotherly love that Peter affirms. But, when Jesus asks about this kind of love, and it’s the third of these questions, the text plainly says that Peter was grieved.

But the Lord Jesus was indeed restoring him—giving him instructions for how to express his love to Christ. Or, rather, upon whom to express that love: His people. We remember back to that fateful conversation in which Christ told Peter about his upcoming denial. It was then that Jesus had said that we are to love one another as He has loved us—that He was departing, but that we still might reciprocate His great love to us, but with one another as the object.

As an apostle—and therefore a minister of the gospel—Peter’s call is more specific: feeding (twice) and shepherding Jesus’s sheep (twice) and especially His little lambs. But this is how we are all called to express in our actions that love which Jesus can see in our hearts: by loving one another as He has loved us.

And He has loved us so greatly! Behold how He even gives Peter his wish from that last-supper conversation. Now that all delusions of his own strength have been obliterated, it is time for Peter’s desire to be affirmed: “I will die with you!” Now, Jesus tells him that he indeed will die by crucifixion. How will he get there? Jesus says, “follow Me.” Christ’s plan for each of us is customized for enjoying His love and expressing our love back to Him. And the instructions that He gives us for how to get there? “Follow Me.”
How have you been expressing love to Christ’s flock? How can you follow Him?
Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH496 “My Jesus, I Love Thee”

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