Lessons from John 21: Jesus is the Good Shepherd
Remember the picture Janine painted for you earlier in the year, of the Good Shepherd who seeks those of His sheep who have wandered off? If necessary He will break their legs so that they cannot run away and get lost or killed, and He will carry them around His neck until they are healed in order that they may learn to stay close to their Master. Jesus is that good shepherd and it would do us good to remember that in these seemingly unpleasant times.
Hebrews 12:4-12 reminds us that in our struggle against sin, we have not yet resisted to the point of shedding our blood. Therefore my dear friends, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when He rebukes you because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and chastens (or humbles) everyone He accepts as His son’s or daughters.
Therefore we are to endure hardship as discipline, knowing that God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—then you are not legitimate, not true son and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.
How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live? They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level the paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Isn’t it a wonderful truth that though you and I often fail God, He never fails us. Jesus is faithful and caring and always has our best interest in mind even when He disciplines us.
Though Peter had stumbled badly, Jesus loved him and brought about Peter’s restoration and reinstatement to leadership.
In spite of Peter’s failure, and impetuous behavior, Jesus knew Simon Peter’s heart and He lovingly transformed Simon and shaped him to become Peter, the rock on which Jesus would build His church.
The command to feed and take care of both Jesus’ lambs (children) and His sheep (adults) is the same for all believers.
Jesus tells His disciples and every believer in Matthew 28:18 that, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. Therefore we as His disciples/believers are to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded. And then, Jesus closes by promising to be with us, His people, His servants, always, even to the very end of the age.
As believers, it is God’s desire that we feed, care for and tend to His family. Do you have a desire to serve God’s children? To feed or serve His adult sheep?
Do you look down on other Christians who do not share your social standing, color, or wealth?
We have all been commanded to love God and to show that love by serving others? What is He calling you to do for His kingdom? Won’t you get on with God and feed His people by serving those whom He is calling you to serve!