Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 21 - John 21

SCRIPTURE ~ John 21
KEY VERSES ~
John 21:21-22 When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"22 Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

OBSERVATION ~
The disciples had returned to doing what many of them understood, fishing. Does this mean they gave up on Jesus and His resurrection? NO!! It means they went fishing. It means they took some time as brothers and hung out together. Maybe they needed some time to reflect, to think, to feel, to decompress . . . after all, Jesus who was once dead, is now alive. How does that make any sense to one's senses? It doesn't, and that is the issue.

They had already experienced His presence, now they experience Jesus' mastery at cooking breakfast. A favorite verse for me comes from REVELATION 3:5 when Jesus gives us an amazing invitation. Read it and invite Him in for some good cooking!!!!!

Jesus then reinstates Peter by asking him 3 times, the same number of times Peter denied Jesus, if Peter loves Him. Note the subtle differences in all 3 commands.
  1. Feed my lambs.
  2. Tend my sheep.
  3. Feed my sheep.
Now comes the kicker verse, the one that kicks you in the gut and knocks the wind out of you, as if these 3 questions had not already knocked Peter down.

APPLICATION ~ John 21:21-22 states -- When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"22 Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

What does that mean for me and you? Peter understood that life will get crazy and that he will end up in a death which he would not want, he will lose freedom and ultimately, life. So . . . first thing he does is ask about John, 'what about that guy, how is he going to suffer?' Jesus simply tells Peter, whatever happens to him is my decision, it's not yours and frankly, Peter, it's none of your business. What I and the church need is this one thing and one thing alone from you . . .
YOU MUST FOLLOW ME!!
Yup, you got it, follow me!! Isn't that the call for each of us. It's a great way to end John. Jesus calls us to put aside ourselves and follow Jesus. Let go of the petty ante junk which holds us back in our relationship with Jesus and with one another. Get a grip on what real life is about, forget about that old stuff, those old issues, move on . . . move on, pilgrim! Move on, my friend, focus on Jesus, nobody else, it's about Him, isn't it?

Folks, don't get wrapped up in yourself, get wrapped up in Jesus. Follow Him, follow Him. He has the answers, I don't. My answers will always pale in comparison to His, only when I get it right and say what He wants me to say, and I listen and I don't get in the way, then listen to me.

There is too much going on in this world we need to fight for. Let me end with a quote from the book entitled,
Unchristian, "Christianity has become bloated with blind followers who would rather repeat slogans than actually feel true compassion and care. Christianity has become marketed and streamlined into a juggernaut of fear mongering that has lost its own heart" (page 15). That is a terrible indictment from a non Christian. Yet, that is very much how the non Christian world sees us. This is why the call of Jesus . . . to FOLLOW HIM is so crucial.

Pastor Michael

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