John 21:15, 19
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
… Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
We are back in Galilee. Jesus reveals himself as he had done throughout. He feeds them by the lake. He offers forgiveness, challenge and commission.
Only now, instead of the drama moving inexorably to Calvary and Easter, it moves out from there. The fishing, the feeding, the forgiveness and the challenge are all shot through with a sense of something accomplished now to be worked out, something which Jesus has done which must now sweep Peter and the rest along in the tidal wave of new life, new possibilities. The scene is full of a sense of freshness and wonder: sunrise, lake and breakfast picnic hint at the transformation of creation itself.
The transformation spreads throughout the scene. Fishing, after a night of hard and fruitless work, becomes a sudden morning surprise. The conversation Peter needed but no doubt dreaded transformed his denial into stumbled affirmations of love and loyalty, with Jesus’ questions themselves being turned into commissions: feed my lambs. Finally, the transformation of vocation itself… because Jesus has laid down his life for Peter, Peter will in turn glorify God. What more natural, what more utterly challenging, than the simple command, “Follow me?”
(Wright, NT. Twelve Months of Sundays: Biblical Meditations on the Christian Year. p. 323-4)
Prayer: Lord, thank you that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead has brought me into a new life of following you. Fill me, feed me, and each one of my fellow ministers in our churches to feed your sheep and follow you today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship in song with “Old for New” by Bethel (click here).