Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Holy Ordination- Priest: Called for a Divine Ministry John 21: 15-18 v17 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.”
In this well-known passage, Simon Peter already denied Jesus three times but Jesus purposely goes on to ask Peter whether he loved him three times. How terrible Peter must have felt after He denied his teacher! But how does this Bible portion relate to divine ministry? Many often say, “What a coincidence!” and the next day say, “God has a plan.” As Christians, the Word teaches us coincidences don’t occur. God has every finite second planned out from the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) Likewise, Jesus did not ask Peter these questions three times because he could not hear him. He knew what Peter was feeling and consciously asked him to feed His sheep.
Prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter told him he was ready to die for him! (John 13: 37) And yet before the rooster crowed, Peter denied knowing him three times. (John 18: 17, 25, 27) After his resurrection, Jesus appears to Peter and asked twice if he loved him but with the “agape” love (ultimate sacrifice love) according to the Greek translation. Peter was down, he may have felt that he wasn’t good enough to claim Christ’s “agape” love and instead responded to him all three times with “philos” love (friendship).
Despite Peter’s denial and knowing the disappointment in himself, Jesus continued with, “feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.” Knowing that Peter is not perfect, makes mistakes and falters, Jesus still asks Peter to tend to His sheep. Jesus accepts us as we are; there is no need to pretend that we are perfect. Jesus offers us “agape” love and we often offer Him “philos” love which might be conditional. Nevertheless, Jesus accepts us as he did Peter.
Many assume divine ministry is meant for those called into priesthood, mission work or speakers. We fail to realize that the Lord has created each one of us, unique in every way. (Ephesians 2:10) Our personality, skill set, experiences are by no chance a coincidence. God has shown throughout Scripture that He can use the smallest event for His purpose. Like us, Peter made mistakes. We may feel like we are not “good” enough for ministry. The Lord teaches us through Peter, a fisherman, divine ministry is not just for the righteous. Each have of us have been ordained into His kingdom. This ministry entails imparting what we have received from Christ. If the Lord has helped us to grow in Him, we can help younger believers to do the same. If Christ has helped us overcome struggles in our friendships, marriages, or work, He wants us to connect with others who we can help. This is also divine ministry. God is still working through us to reach others. Christ did not save us to be an isolated Christian, instead to be in a relationship with other members of the body to help them grow in Him.
When our heart and eyes are fixed on the Lord, not coincidentally, the Lord will use us for His purpose. Don’t ponder about what His purpose may be, rather focus on Him so that He will utilize us in His divine ministry as he used Peter’s denial to teach generations to come. In these trying times, many are in painful situations that we may not even realize as we haven’t connected with them. When we sacrifice our time, we begin to respond to Christ’s “agape” love. As Christ sacrificed Himself for us, we must also sacrifice our time for God. Pray for the Lord to lead, guide and use you for His ministry. As we begin this, our spiritual life will have new meaning.
PRAYER Gracious father, we come before you as imperfect as we are. Open our hearts to hear where you want us to minister your love. Mold us so that you may use us for your glory. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY “Service dependent on the risen Savior is always fruitful and will always have His presence and support.” Steven J. Cole
Suby Mathew, St. John’s Mar Thoma Church Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
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