When Peter encountered Christ on the shore of the sea of Galilee he and the other disciples were about 100 yards from the shore. They had not caught any fish and Jesus tells them that they should cast their net on the opposite side. The catch was great and Peter lept from the boat and made his way to the shore to see his Lord and Savior.
After they had eaten a meal, Jesus inquires of Peter to answer three questions. Do you love me; Peter answers yes.
Jesus replied to each of the three questions in a different manner. But each answer was a command. (John 21:15- 19)
The first reply:
Feed the lambs (Greek word, Βόσκε)
15 When 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.”
The second occasion Christ replied
Shepherd the sheep ( Greek word, Ποίμαινε)
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.”
The third occasion Jesus answered
Feed the sheep (Greek word, Βόσκε)
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.
Three replies and three different commands.
The first being of the present tense. The literal translation is to pasture the lambs. Believers are called sheep throughout the bible. Peter was to love and nurture the new believers as a mother would her young lambs; for they are most vulnerable in their infancy days, weeks, and months.
The second command is to be one that guards over the flock. Not just to feed them spiritual food, but to be a shepherd to the believers.
Lastly, Peter is told to be the shepherd of the flock. A spiritual guide, a minister of the gospel to the new church of Christ. This is to be an ongoing nurturing and feeding of the church. He is to be a disciple maker. By continuing to help them grow into mature christians.
We can apply the three commands given Peter to each of our own lives. We are all called to be world changers and disciple makers. We are called to disciple others and help them to mature and grow in their faith by feeding them, nurturing them in the love and message of Christ, and through the Word of God (Hebrews 5:12-14)
So today, I want to challenge each of us to find one new believer and begin to intentionally disciple them. One of my greatest joys in life is counseling believers through their struggles. But I always tell each of them that there are ALWAYS two people being counseled in the room. It is such a great feeling to see how hungry lambs devour the love, and message of Christ when someone takes the time to simply guide them to know and grow in the Lord.
Give it a shot, Bet you will find a great blessing in it!
Remember that Brenda and I love you, and that God does too!
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