If you truly love and want to serve the Lord, today’s slightly longer message is for you. I trust you will see in it or else be reminded of what your greatest need and obligation is. John, Chapter 21, is the account of Jesus’ 3rd appearance to His Disciples after the resurrection and there just may be enough teaching in to make our life of service to Christ a fruitful one. We will begin with verse 3, which reads in part: “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” We can immediately see that Peter was obviously the group’s leader. Even so, it is also pretty evident that John was the most spiritually perceptive because he was the first to realize that the stranger calling out to them from the shore was indeed their Master. Some Bible commentators and theologians add that John was the Disciple that knew Him best because he was always the closest and that he was the closest because he was the one who loved Him the most. After all, he was the only Disciple who was present with Jesus when He died on the cross at Calvary. In this Chapter you will see that Christ designated Peter as the leader of the group. One obvious truth to me, therefore, is that the leader in a body of believers, very likely a pastor, is not necessarily the one who loves Jesus the most. Nevertheless, as we will be reminded in this chapter, all genuine servants of God love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind. In the King James version, we see John turning to Peter first to tell him it was the Lord Himself who was calling them. Here again, we see John’s spiritual insight in recognizing that Peter, of all the Disciples, would be the one most longing to see Jesus again. He was right because as soon as Peter heard it, he jumped out of the boat and swam to His Master, reaching Him way before the others.
We should be able to see why Jesus chose Peter to be their leader. Apart from being a natural leader, he would be the best suited to teach and convey to others the love, mercy, kindness, and especially the forgiveness one finds in Christ. Here are some things Peter learned on that day, things all of God’s servants should always keep in mind: Jesus did not rebuke, criticize, belittle or embarrass him in front of others, never once mentioning his denial of Him on the night of His arrest. He could have told him something like: “Was this the way you repaid the kindness of a friend?” “Did I not tell you beforehand that you would prove to be a coward?” Then we have Christ’s question to him: It was not “do you honor, fear, respect, or admire me?” It was not “How much have you fasted, wept, and how much sleep have you lost since the night you failed me?” His question to him three times was rather “Do you love me?” This is where the key lies! There are servants of God everywhere who, because they don’t love the Lord will all of their being, do not genuinely love those they minister to. When their brethren are hurting or going through hard times, it concerns them very little. Those who don’t love people, have no business being involved in Christian ministry. I repeat: If you truly love the Lord, you will love others as well. And when you do, there will be much fruit in your ministry and you will honor and please God in the process.
Memory verse for the week: (Luke 10:27) “And he answering said , Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all