The Restorer of the Penitent

Steve Macchia

READ : John 21:1-19

Do you truly love me more than these? . . . Take care of my sheep . . . Follow me! (vv. 15-16, 19 NIV)

How many times did Jesus have to ask Peter if he truly loved him? Apparently three, or at least that’s the minimum number recorded for us to consider! Of course Jesus knew his heart better than Peter could imagine, but in the affirmative responses Peter’s affections were sealed by the spoken word.

For Jesus, the beginning point is the verbal witness. The expression of love must be generated at the street level of service. Jesus tells Peter to “feed my lambs” and “take care of my sheep” and “feed my sheep” as specific indicators of his overarching command to “follow me.”

When we follow Christ we are invited into a deep and profound relationship with him. He delights to restore those who are penitent so that we may serve him with ever increasing joy and effectiveness. He wants our hearts first, then our lips to give voice to our commitment, followed by a lifetime of faithful service.

Jesus is asking for your verbal declaration of love. Then he wants to know how willing you are to sacrificially serve him. It may require that you are led to places you would rather not go, but that’s what this life of faith is all about.

PRAYER

Lord, I choose to love and follow you today and forever.