Friday, June 24, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

People of God – Flock of Christ
John 21:15-25

Dr. Thomas Philip

Orlando MTC, Florida
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)
 
The passage for this devotion presents a crucial requirement to belong to the flock of Christ. Jesus brings it out by asking Peter the same question three times. That question was “Do you love me?”
 
Peter had already made the public declaration: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:16). So Jesus’ question was not about his doctrine or his faith. Neither was His question: “How strong is your faith in me?” Peter had already denied Him multiple times. Jesus did not ask about his occupation or status in society or position held. The question was not about any supernatural experience he had. If so he could have given good answers – he was an important apostle who was with Jesus at the time of transfiguration. He must have witnessed almost all the miracles Jesus performed. Jesus was focused on the crucial question to make sure that Peter belonged to His flock. That question was “Do you love me?”
 
This is the relevant question even today after two millennia for any one of us if we want to belong to the flock of Christ. It is not our occupation, position and status in society, how much wealth we possess, membership in clubs and/or religious organizations, or our activities and/or positions held in the church that qualify us to be part of Christ’s flock. This is a question that requires an answer. Any answer is not enough. Remember, Peter tried twice before he broke down in repentance before the Lord when the truth hit him.
 
This question requires not only the correct answer but also a follow up action. Following Peter’s response Jesus said “Feed my sheep.” Jesus desires each member of His flock to minister to the rest of the flock. Not only that, He also wants us to minister to those who are not already in the flock. Jesus said in another context “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also” (John 10:16). It is in God’s master plan that all people come into the flock of Christ through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
 
Where does each one of us stand? Let us examine to see if we answered Jesus’ crucial question: “do you love me?” truthfully.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, You know our innermost being. Enable us to love you more dearly and follow you more nearly all the days of our life. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”