Friday, September 9, 2011

Three Square Meals

I never really liked it when people asked me a question that they already knew the answer to. For example:

"What are you? Crazy!?"


"Didn't you think that was a bad idea?!"

Granted, these kind of questions normally come from a place of sarcasm, which makes their intended effect
even worse. But Jesus was really good at this type of question. Considering the fact that He already knows everything, it's safe to say that every question He asks, He already knows the answer to. That being said, let's look at a famous question (or three) that Jesus asked in John 21:

"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"

Hmmm. Does it not seem fairly poignant to you that Jesus is asking Simon Peter this question? Imagine the situation: Jesus told him, before He was crucified, that Peter would deny Jesus three times. Peter says that such an idea is crazy, and then eventually ends up doing it during the events leading up to the crucifixion. He wallows in tortuous guilt and anguish over the fact that His Savior is dead and that he wasn't even strong enough to stick up for Him. After this, Jesus comes back and everyone's partying. There is much rejoicing as all of those who followed Christ realized that He had risen from the dead, just as He said He would.

But just like a healing wound, the guilt of Peter's sin is probably still eating away at Him.

These are all of the things that led up to the iconic question portrayed to Peter, "Do you love me?" And not only does Jesus ask the question, He does it three times, as if to continually point to Peter's past rejection. So Peter says to Jesus, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you."


Look, if I had a friend who was as close as a brother betray me three times in one night and then claim that he loved me, I'd be just about ready to open a can of whoopin' on him.

And yet, this is Peter's response the first two times that Jesus asks Him. But after the third time that Jesus asks Peter this question, the Bible said that he 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."

I might be a little off on this, but I believe that Jesus asked Peter the same question three times in order to forgive and restore him from each of the three times that he denied Him. And it is after this that Jesus says, "Feed my sheep."

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that this is pointing to something huge. Do you see the pattern? Let me try to lay it out mathematically:

sin + restoration = action

I sin a lot. For real. And often, I wallow in guilt and get bogged down in feeling sorry. But we have been forgiven, and we don't have the option of sitting around in our shame! As the redeemed followers of a God we love, we have a core responsibility to get out there and build up the church and make them ready as a pure bride. At least, that's the goal if we are called to be leaders and overseers in the church. It isn't to make ourselves look good or feel great 'cuz we have a pedestal to speak on. Biblical leadership comes out of a love for people and a brokenness over their lives, not a desire for self gain.

"Feed my sheep."

In my mind, I get this image of Jesus standing, looking down, brokenly pointing to a crowd, and saying, "This group of people has no clue what they're doing. This is where my heart is. Go there. Feed my sheep."

So if we know that we are leaders, let's stop dragging our feet in the mud and start flying to help believers grow in their pursuit of Almighty God.

"Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood." - Acts 20:28


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