The idea for this post came from social media where everyone on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram demand Follow Me. Get connected and follow along with their videos, daily rants and whatever is blasted out for consumption. But what is following good for? Can you live and be fed by following a Facebook/Meta account? I liken it to a dry fistful of Kix cereal. If you take a few of those little yellow puffs and rub them down between your fingers, they turn into a fine, granular dust. That is certainly not going to feed anyone. It looks like something to start with but ends up as nothing.
What we feed on is taken within and nurtured as of value. Knowing this we ought to be wary of where our passions reside. Speaking for myself, if I am going to follow anything it had better be something posted by the #Holy Spirit. Only then will the true cost of following be disclosed and laid out on the table…like this:
There at a table, the disciples had breakfast together. Jesus made eye contact with Simon Peter and asked, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do—with total commitment and devotion]?”
Peter responded, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
Jesus offers the question a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with total commitment and devotion]?”
Peter replied, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
Again, Jesus tells him “Shepherd My sheep.”
“Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Jesus asked a third time.
Peter was grieved that He’d asked him the third time.
“Do I love you?! Lord you know all things! You know I love you!!” responded Peter.
“Feed my sheep”
This last statement was the moment when Peter was told in no uncertain terms that following Jesus was not going to end well.
Peter would give all. He would be required to give up his plan of being a semi-retired, respected Jewish fisherman, in exchange for something less typical to daydream about.
Peter would now be wearing Jesus’s sandals, destined to trudge the roads and pathways from village to village, carrying forward the message of the last couple years. The message being “Repent for the kingdom of God is here”, but with one new piece to add…”In the name of Jesus Christ”.
The intimate discussion between the two of them was one of healing, acceptance, and forewarning. Jesus knew that Peter would strive hard for what he perceived as a good and personally satisfying result. Yet what needed to be conveyed is that ‘good results’ may not be on Peter’s terms, so Jesus was direct to elucidate the matter…
The road will be rough and the days long. Some villages will receive you with open arms. In other places the people will turn against you Peter. I mean really against you.
But if you hold on to what you have learned and been shown by example in walking with Me, keeping your eyes focused on God; all you need will be given to you. You stand before Me now, and you must have a thousand questions running through your mind. You wonder if you can do this. What proof do you need, what evidence do you seek? Do you want to know what kind of power God will give you to do the work I have for you? Look at Me! I was murdered, dead and put into a tomb.
Let Me lead you to bring the world my salvation. Be the one I send out to anyone with ears to hear and to find LIFE in Me.
The world is hungry for the truth that you will carry. You will meet many who will become your brothers and sisters, allies and advocates united with a holy desire to seek God. Together, you will carry the truth to places we never got to in our journeys together.
You will go where you do not want to go. Make no mistake Peter; the Scribes, Pharisees, synagogue leaders, and teachers of the law want you dead. You will endure until they create a snare great enough to capture you. And, as with Me – when they believe that by your death This Way is ended, they have another thing coming! They will fail to diminish this holy fire, as many more will arise to take your place!
I have promised to make a home for you where I am going and you will be there with me, Peter.
Peter looked over at John, and asked
“LORD, what about him?”
(Here is where my commentary slips in. Oh how human of Peter! I would have probably asked the same thing. Me? You looking only at me? What about the others here? What are they going to do? Who has my back? But then, this is a gathering of normal people talking with a man who has risen from the grave. Everything is off the table. But to send only me is like, unfair Jesus! C’mon man, it’s going to take more than me to feed these crazy sheep!)
“if I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
You must follow me.”
Peter did just that. On this day, Peter set aside everything that he was and became all that Jesus would make him to be. He followed and became a leader to be followed.
Jesus places the same instruction into me. “FEED MY SHEEP.”
I may not be a leader, but when He gives the command it must be followed. His sheep know His voice, so my efforts do have a hungry audience. It is not just feeding via these typed articles, but in fervent prayer for those I know, lending a hand without terms, and being open to listen at anytime. There is much more as He is always adding to what compassion does. It is going to be all that I am, everything I become. All for the One who atoned for my sin.
Now THAT is a daily feed I will gladly follow!