Jesus and Peter
AFTER Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he 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 then 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 distressed that he had said to him a 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. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
FOLLOW ME. Jesus says this to Peter to conclude his conversation with him. Has Peter not been following Jesus? Jesus must mean something different now after Peter three times assures Jesus of his love for him and for his flock. Jesus does not have to check on Peter’s loyalty, but to give him an opportunity to articulate his best before giving him a new assignment. Jesus is always thinking ahead. Peter must upgrade his vision and goals to be able to put up with Jesus. Peter is talking no longer to an ordinary man who was made to suffer and die, but to the Lord who is risen. Things should be different now after the resurrection.
To follow Christ means that Peter will undergo his own passion, death, and resurrection. As a follower of the Risen Lord, Peter will exert more effort. He will serve Jesus’ flock as a leader, a provider, and a martyr. He will lay down his life for the flock.
Following Christ is allowing oneself to be led by Jesus and opening oneself to God’s grand plan of salvation. Peter will nourish a great many people by his preaching. His sharing will be based on his first-hand experience with Jesus since he started his ministry. His words will come straight from his heart and from his memories, and he will die like Christ crucified.
How are you doing as a follower of Christ?