Live on a mission   

30 November 2021

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 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.” 17 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. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21: 15-22)

Peter said three times “I did not know Jesus” in the scene of the cross, but he was healed by being asked three times by Jesus, “Do you love me?” It will be recovered. By giving a positive answer three times, Jesus would have tried to erase the negative memory of saying that Peter did not know Jesus three times. Here Jesus forgives Peter’s sins and raises him again as a disciple of the Lord. Peter was afraid to abandon Jesus, but Jesus did not abandon Peter. Jesus will not abandon us. Never!

Jesus Christ crucified

Jesus asks Peter. ” Do you love me more than these people? ” (Verse 15) Peter did not confidently answer, “I love you more than these people.” Peter said before Jesus was crucified. “Even if they all stumble, I won’t stumble. Only I’m okay.” But I failed. However, here Peter does not compare with others, but only answers himself, “I love you.” I think he didn’t compare to others because Peter’s heart was broken. God pleases the broken heart. King David sang like this after failing to commit adultery. ” The sacrifice to God is a crushed spirit. A crushed, repentant heart. God, you do not despise it. ” (Psalm 51:17)

“Do you love me? Do you love me (Jesus) more than anyone else?” This question of Jesus is also asked to each of us.

After confirming his love for Peter, Jesus gives Peter a “pastoral order, an order to feed sheep (people).” The motive for serving the Lord must be to love Jesus. It should not be to be recognized by anyone or to be praised by ourselves. By loving Jesus, we are given new challenges by God and pushed toward the fulfillment of our mission. In the case of Peter, it was to shed a herd. Each person who loves the Lord Jesus is given the work of God to do on this earth.

Jesus prophesied that Peter would suffer for the gospel and be martyred (verse 18). And he was told. ” Follow me ” (verse 19).

This prophecy was fulfilled about 35 years later. According to folklore, Thomas went to India for missions and was martyred there. So what about Peter? According to folklore and by the writings of the Church Fathers, It is said that Peter has been martyred in Rome around 67 AD.

A Polish Nobel Prize in Literature writer named Sienkiewicz wrote a historical novel called “Quo Vadis”. There is such a content in it. Peter was about to leave Rome to escape the persecution of Christians in Rome. Encounter Jesus Christ on the way to escape. Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, where are you going (Quo Vadis Domine?)”. Then Jesus answers. “I will go to Rome to die again to crucify for my sheep who have left.” Upon hearing this word, Peter returned to Rome, preached the gospel, was imprisoned, and was finally martyred.

Peter asking, “Lord, where are you going (Quo Vadis Domine?)”

There is such a folklore about Peter in prison. Peter was trapped for nine months in the Mameltino Underground Prison in Rome, where the sun didn’t shine. While being imprisoned, Peter remained vertically fixed and tied to a pillar. Despite this fierce encounter, Peter preached the gospel to more than 40 people, including the guards, and converted them.

And it is written that Peter was martyred on an upside-down cross. It is said that Peter said, “I am not as valuable as Jesus to die in the same way,” and he turned his head down and asked to be crucified upside down, and he was martyred in that way.

Peter on the upside-down cross

Jesus prophesied that Peter would be martyred, and then said, “Follow me,” but he saw young John follow him (verse 20). Although Peter had many shortcomings, John probably respected and admired Peter. I think Peter was very interested in John, too. Peter and John were the two main members of the 12 apostles. They were both disciples who bothered each other.

Peter instinctively asks Jesus. ” Lord, how about this person? ” (Verse 21) Until now (in verses 15-17), he was freed from comparing with other people, but still comparing himself with others. He was not completely released from it.

“Jesus, you are prophesying that I will be martyred, but you are telling me to obey me again. What will happen to this person = John? Will this John be martyred like me? He wouldn’t survive, wouldn’t he? He would live long and I would live short, right? “

Jesus answers. ” what is that to you? You must follow me.” (verse 22) This is the command of Jesus at the end of John’s Gospel, and the last word spoken to Peter. So it’s very important. Jesus told Peter, “You don’t have to worry about what happens to John. I have a different plan for John. It’s not your way. You just follow me. It’s okay if you follow your mission faithfully. “

“What does John have to do with you? It’s the relationship between John and me (Jesus), not you. Don’t worry. The important thing is this: your relationship with me. Anyway, you obey me, ” Jesus said to Peter.

Peter and John were different. Peter was a man of action, a bold man. John was a thinker, a cautious person. God’s calling is different. Peter was used in the areas of preaching, leadership, and bold ministry, and was finally martyred. On the other hand, John was used in the realm of writing apocalypse of John, who lived a long life without martyrdom and was given a special revelation from God.

This is also true in our course. No need to compare with others. Of course it is important to cooperate. In fact, looking at the work of the apostles, Peter and John act together to do the work of God.

But what matters is whether we can fulfill the mission that Jesus has given us. Jesus also says to each of us. “You don’t have to worry too much about other people, but anyway, you follow me.”

Peter took Jesus’ words, “Obey me,” seriously. And he obeyed Jesus. He fulfilled the mission that Jesus gave him. Let us follow Jesus as disciples of Jesus.

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埼玉県で10年間&北海道で10年間牧師の働きをしました。現在は神奈川県の教会で協力牧師をしています。私自身が様々なことば(特に聖書のことば)で力づけられてきたので、希望に満ちたことばをお伝えしたいと願っています。I used to be a pastor in Saitama prefecture for 10 years and Hokkaido for 10 years. Now I am a cooperating pastor in Kanagawa prefecture. I myself have been empowered by various words(especially Bible ), so I would like to tell the hopeful words. 


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