Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


Priests: Called for Divine Ministry

Sherin K. Abraham
St. Andrews MTC, NY
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

As we discuss Peter in this passage, we must remember how Peter’s personality was before the crucifixion. He left his livelihood as a fisherman based on a promise of being fishers of men (Matt. 4:19-20), he walked on water with Jesus (Matt. 14:29), he was the first to recognize Jesus as Messiah (Matt. 16:16). From all these encounters in the Gospel, one can determine that he is the most impulsive and inquisitive disciple. Even when Jesus foretold that Peter would deny Him, he said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Matt. 26:35) After he betrayed His master and friend, he went back to his old lifestyle of being a fisherman filled with pain and remorse.

When Jesus meets him, Peter portrays happiness but deep inside, he carries the regretting decisions he made from his impulsive nature. When he is going through these emotions, Jesus puts this compelling question to Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” (v. 15,16,19) Even though he responds instinctively, the more time Jesus asks this question, he became more distraught. However, Jesus’ intention was to reconcile with him. Jesus took the initiative to make peace and take away the burden that strains Peter’s relationship with Him. He also commands him to be a shepherd. It is interesting how Jesus asks a fisherman to become a shepherd and tend His flock. Jesus wants him to lead the believers in faith towards a renewed relationship with God. Even though he denied Jesus and committed a horrendous sin, Peter was given a second chance because of God’s mercy and Grace. As we read on, he became the leader of the early church and had to face many trials and sufferings for the growth of church till his death.

As Christians, sometimes we think our sins outweigh the good deeds. We may feel that we are not worthy to be in a relationship with God. However, God doesn’t put us on a scale and balance our good and bad deeds. His Divine love was revealed to us when Jesus was crucified for us. Our burden of sins has been redeemed by the sacrificial blood of the lamb. Even though deep in our hearts we may be guilty of our actions, Jesus still calls us daily to be in a loving relationship with Him. He knows the depths of our hearts more than we know ourselves. When we repent, and accept how God views and loves us out of His nature, our hearts are transformed and we are encouraged to take bolder steps for Him. We forsake our old ways and become new creations in Him. We become partakers in the ministry with open hearts and minds. Even when trials and tribulations come our way, we put our faith in Christ, the rock and redeemer. 


PRAYER


Father God, we thank You because You are a loving God. Help us to love You above all things. Equip us for the ministry to bring Your glorious kingdom in this world. Amen.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer