O my Redeemer what a friend You are to me
O what a refuge I found
When the way was dreary and my heart was so oppressed
Your voice it lulled me to calm and rest
When in the their beauty stars unveil their silver light
Then, O my Savior, give me songs at night
Songs of yonder glory where my dear ones gone before
Sing out Your praise on that peaceful shore
Nearer, draw nearer“What a Friend”
Till my soul is lost in You
Nearer, draw nearer
Missing Jesus, today we see Peter and several disciples returning to the vocation they had left to follow Jesus. I imagine they were at a crossroads feeling lost without him and wondering what their next right thing was. Until they figured that out, there was fishing.
They caught nothing. Was it because “apart from Him (or outside of His will) they could do nothing?”
At dawn they saw a man standing on the shore with a question he already knew the answer to, but was trying to get to their hearts. He instructed them to throw the net on the right side of the boat and they had so many fish they couldn’t haul them in there were so many.
Then John recognized Jesus and Peter full of zeal jumps out of the boat and wades 100 yards to Jesus in his excitement. Jesus had breakfast ready for them over a fire, bread and fish. “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said.
After breakfast Jesus asks Peter a restorative question 3 times, harkening back to the three times Peter denied Jesus.
- “Simon son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” (I’m wondering Fish–physical blessing–or disciples?)
Peter responds, “You know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs.” Jesus said.
2. “Simon son of Jonah, do you love me?”
Peter responds, “You know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep.” Jesus said.
“A third time he asked him, “Simon son of Jonah do you love me?”
Peter, hurt said, “Lord you know everything. You know that I love you.”
“Then feed my sheep.”
He then warns him of the way he will die and says, “Follow me.”
Peter then looks at John and asks how he will die to which Jesus responds in His own way, that’s not your business.
Then John reassures us that his account is accurate and gives us the most beautiful statement:
Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.John 21:25
I haven’t heard God’s voice audibly many times in my life, but one night in a season when God had been leading me to give up something very precious that He had helped me build as I had been praying for the situation I woke up and heard clear as day a tender voice “Feed my lambs.”
From that day on I knew for sure I had a calling and He began to move me away from being my own boss (my version of a fishing boat was photography) to working in His kingdom. I had no idea how this would play out, so I just began to take the next step as He shed light on it.
I began by seeing my children as HIs lambs and being faithful to dedicate my life to caring physically for my family while giving them His word and leading by His example. Then as opportunities arose I said yes to starting backyard Bible studies with preschoolers, a part time position as a pre-k teacher at a Christian school, a preschool volunteer, a 4th and 5th grade teacher at church, and a VBS teacher in various departments. I refocused my writing to feed those who desired the nourishment of God’s word and then God opened the door for me to fully walk away from something I loved dearly to something better, teaching art with a biblical worldview to local students ages 2-15.
I see myself in Peter, who loves big, speaks boldly, misunderstood in his zeal, sees the vision, but still struggles with his flesh and calling. But, once he surrendered…the rest of the story is incredible. I don’t know what the rest of my story is, I’m still on the road following Him and trying to convince others to do the same.
God’s word is perfect, trustworthy, correct, clear and understandable, true, righteous, desirable, inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative, eternal, Christ-centered functioning to bring the lost to salvation, mature believers, and teaches us how and where to serve.
I hope as I’ve walked you through John you’ve developed a deeper hunger and love for the Word of God. I hope you’ll pick another book to study on your own and if you are in a season of struggle or uncertainty, pray, He will be faithful to speak to you through His word.
Go forth and testify!
P.S. If you know of any voices like these two that are speaking today, please send me their names. We need more bold truth preached and taught with conviction that points us to holiness and conviction and away from worldly teachings.
Or like the Women’s Ministry of Elisabeth Elliot