When I look through my eyes at this broken, beat-up mess of a world, I see what you see. But when I look at this world through the eyes of Christ, I see what He sees: hope, love, peace, and even a new day for a do-over, so to speak. He sees a new day for someone to fall in love with Him. And through Him, I’m able to love and serve this beautifully broken, beat-up mess of a world that is just like me.
Through Christ’s eyes, I read the conversation He had with Peter after breakfast on the beach, and my eyes don’t stay dry for very long. I see the indescribable love that Jesus is displaying and waiting for Peter to reiterate his love for the Savior as Jesus asks not once or twice, but three times if Peter really loved Him.
After His resurrection, Jesus had appeared again to His disciples, and they had just finished having breakfast on the beach when Jesus spoke to Peter.
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17, NLT).
Jesus asked Peter as He asks us today, “If you love Me, care for My sheep.” He didn’t say be upset at my sheep because they’re not going in your direction or they’re going the wrong way. No, He said, “Tend to them. Never leave nor forsake them." Don’t judge them; just come along side and love them, and in love, meet their immediate needs. Love anyway and in any way.
He said, “Serve Me. When you care for others, you care for Me.” The Bible also reminds us of Jesus’ words when He said, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:40, NIV). When we love, God wins. Besides, this whole thing that we call life is already wrapped up! Spoiler alert: the winner has already been decided. Jesus will walk the earth in final victory at only a time God will decide. He will scoop up His beloveds—and the rest? Well, that’s a blog for another day. These things are happening as the Bible said they would. Love anyway, and “Feed My sheep.”
Let’s ride out this thing we call life in exactly the way we were taught in the Bible—by loving, by sharing the good news. If we believers are fighting, who really wants to hear our “good news” anyway?
Don’t get yourself all tied in knots about some upsetting matter; pray and take this pain to God. He’ll show you exactly what to do about the situation.
Remember, our love will separate us for good and also for bad. In John 13:34 and 35 (NIV) Jesus shared what is required of every believer and how others will know we are His: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
In Matthew 22:37 and 39 (NIV), Jesus clearly directed us to follow the greatest commandment which is to love and serve Him: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
When following Jesus, we were warned that pursuing Him might not be a popular move. “Take care of My Sheep.” Loving Jesus Christ may cause quarrels that lead to division between family and friends. “Feed my lambs.” Don’t buy into it. Keep following Jesus; don’t let anger get a foothold in you. James 1:19 and 20 (NIV) reminds, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
If you knew what was asked of you, who cut in on you? You were running a good race, showing up, and loving God and others as yourself. Who cut in on you? Where is your sack of grain for the sheep? When was the last time you served His sheep? Did you serve without a hardened heart? What was taken from you to keep you from obeying the truth?
God doesn’t change; Nothing surprises Him. He is the only One in this life who doesn’t change like the shifting sands of time. If you accept the good times and not the bad, consider this, God made both. This race is a long one; keep running. “Feed my sheep!” Let’s all make it our practice to look at others through the eyes of Christ.
Jesus was essentially asking Peter if He loved Him more than most…more than anything…more than holding his tongue when needed…more than anything of this world. And if Peter did, would he look after His sheep, His people, His beloveds?
Do you love Jesus more than most…more than anything…more than anything of this world? Will you feed His sheep?
“Every piece I’ve done has been commissioned: some by customers, others by animals that nag at me until I finish their portraits. I think Creation has something to say, and I am privileged to give it a voice”