The Commission of God
“Feed my sheep”
In John chapter 21, the story is all about Jesus’ appearing to the seven disciples by the sea of Tiberias. After having a powerful experience with Jesus, disciples retreated hopelessly to their old profession and ordinary life. Here again the risen Jesus illumined their ordinary life to a rich and lively one.
Disciples’ new understanding about Jesus“Cast out the net over the right side of the boat”. They made a cast and took so many fish; they could hardly haul the net. What is the deeper meaning of this event? It is now that Jesus having entered in to their lives and illumined them to raise to a new pitch. Now they caught everything. He raised their ordinary life, ordinary task, and family life. When risen Christ enters in to our lives He will raise it to a new level. John the beloved disciple shouts out “it is the Lord”. John recognized Jesus in this new elevation of Life. So when we obey the commission of God, we are becoming his friends.
Peter’s new understanding about JesusPeter put on his tunic and jumped in to water to come to Jesus. Before the original sin Adam and Eve walked with God in easy conversation. They were naked but they were not conscious about it. After they had sinned, they covered themselves with clothes. On the boat Peter is unaware of the sin. But in the presence of Jesus, he put on his garments like Adam and Eve. He was ashamed of the sin that he denied Jesus three times. Your awareness of the sin can be a sign that Christ’ power is much more operative in you than it was before. Jesus then invited His disciples for a meal. Sharing of the meal was a typical move of Jesus. This is precisely what we do at the Holy Communion. Despite our sins, we are invited to share the intimacy of eating and drinking with the Lord. After that Jesus does a brief interview with Peter. He asked Peter three times- do you love me more than these? (other disciples, possessions, and ordinary life). Peter was hurt and said , ”Lord you know everything, you know that I love You”. Jesus made him to affirm the love three times and then gave the strong commission three times.
Our love for God prepares us for serviceChristianity is not a philosophy – not a matter of subscribing to some ideas or to a set of principles. But it is a personal relationship with Jesus. Just like disciples, He is turning our denials in to love and we are sent on a mission to take care of the sheep, to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked and to comfort the sorrowing. So all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy are the ways of feeding the sheep of the Lord. When you let Him in to your lives, you are no longer in charge of your life but you will be led by His power to where you don’t want to go. That means, taking us to a spiritual adventure- Journeying with Christ to a new pitch.
Prayer: Dear God, keep me in steadfast faith in you and in fervent love for others. Amen.
Thought for the day: We are never alone when we are alone with Jesus
Rev. Mathew John, Greater Seattle Mar Thoma church.