‘FROM DENIAL TO A SHEPHERDS LOVE’
Reference Matthew 26; John 21:15-17
In the book of Matthew,
the twenty sixth chapter, Jesus stated something very profound to a disciple whose name was Peter, son of Barjona or John, and it was that before the night was over this fellow Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster even crowed.
Jesus made this comment to a man who stated that he would die with Him. It is extremely interesting some of the things that come from our mouth when we are under the pressure and heat of the moment! Whether it was back in the days when Jesus walked, talked,
preached, healed and so much more on the earth or in our very present time, some of the utterances and comments we make are mind boggling to say the least. People say things and once the word is out, they can not walk it back, if you need a reference read
Mark six where you will see that Herodias’s daughter danced so well at a birthday celebration, Herod the king granted Herodias a promise that he would come to regret, but Herod honored his word and promise, resulting in the beheading of John the Baptist,
which was the request of Herodias who became very upset that John the Baptist called her and Herod out for sleeping with each other and Herodias was not his wife.
Peter denied Jesus three times as indicated in Matthew twenty six just as Jesus said he would even though Peter stated that he would die with Jesus. You can only imagine how anguished Peter felt after Jesus’
words echoed in his heart after his denials went down as Jesus had predicted. So now you have Jesus asking Peter, if he really loves Him after the resurrection. Just imagine denying Jesus, but you never stopped loving Him, you denied Him out
of fear and now you have to live with that and here after the resurrection Jesus asks you if you love Him, not only once, but three times, don’t know if the three times correlates with the three denials, but it does give pause for thought. Jesus has
this way of pulling at your heart strings, and if anybody can pull the heart strings Jesus can. After such a great breakfast as we should envision with Jesus on the beach of Tiberias, Peter might wonder if it was a set-up, here I am in a wonderful fellowship
breakfast with Jesus, and He begins to ask me if I love Him. How many times has someone wondered if the stated love is really there; and because of the wonder the question does and can arise, ‘do you love me?’ Jesus posed this question to Peter
not once or twice, but three times. The first couple of times if you understand the framework of Jesus’ presentation, He is getting at the loyalty and commitment of Peter’s will and character, but when Jesus asked him that third time, it really
pulled at Peter’s heart so much that he was grieved. Jesus needs to know not only that we can say we love Him, but He needs to know that our heart follows our words and we are not sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. When Jesus knows our heart is in
it, He can entrust us as leaders to feed and shepherd His sheep, Jesus will not allow His virtue to go into someone who is fair weathered or a hireling, Jesus wants us to pick up our cross and follow Him! When you read Peter’s response to Jesus as three
affirmations of love for Jesus, this is a marked turn around from his three denials of even knowing or being associated with Jesus.
Are you in denial or are you affirming with your mind, body, and soul that you Love Jesus? Some have a form of Godliness, but have not the power of loving God in their heart, so in reality without God’s love abiding in us we
will always miss the mark of the prize of the high calling of God, which is in Christ Jesus. We can not deny Him, or He will deny us before His Father, therefore affirm your hearts love for Jesus and tend His sheep!