Friday, August 13, 2010

Peter and Jesus

John 21:3

Simon Peter said to them [six other disciples], "I am giong fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

So...prior to this verse we have Jesus' second post resurrection appearance to the 11.  I'm not sure how many days it was since his 2nd appearance that Peter led the gang on a fishing trip, but I think it's interesting that that's what he chose to do.  Keep in mind that the first time Jesus appeared to them he gave them the Holy Spirit.


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." 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." 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.  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go." (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.)" And after saying this he said to him, "Follow me."

I think Jesus was rebuking Peter for getting back to his regular life.  Jesus called the disciples to disciple others so that all of God's chosen would be called and sanctified.  If the leader of the pack (Peter) just went back to life as usual, then what was he really doing in his life?  He was being disobedient.  Jesus rebuked him. 

I recently read a book (So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore?) that was intended to break the idolatry of simply going to church.  To break the guilty feelings of obligatory program attendance.  That is a good intention to have.  In the process of breaking the institutionalized idolatry the authors also hint at only living a day to day life without worry of meeting with other people.  I think the above verses contradict these authors' statements on living life.  We are called to be intentional with our lives.  Jesus was correcting Peter for getting back to the day to day living he once had.  He was telling Peter, "Look, you are leading this people.  I want you to feed them with spiritual food.  They followed you out here for physical pleasure, living, food (fishing usually accomplishes all three).  But until I told you where to put the net, you wasted all night.  You left them hungry and tired.  What are you doing here?  Feed my sheep, my little lambs." Jesus is not satisfied with day to day living.  He demands that we have abundant life in him.  Let us be intentional with our abiding in Christ by being purposeful in what we do daily for His glory.  Amen!