By Marie Stratford
Peter was a disciple of Jesus.
Peter taught us about the power of our faith when he walked on water and the power of doubt when he started to sink.
Peter taught us about deeply believing — deeply committing to having Jesus’ back — and then when challenged he was human and denied even knowing Jesus.
The disciples did not have the power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They lived in a culture that focused on the law — even when following it no longer made sense. As they lived in their heads, Jesus called them to live in their hearts — as he did — focused, motivated and empowered by receiving and giving love.
Rose from the dead bringing a powerful gift: eternal life.
John 20:21 “Again Jesus said “peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you”. And, with that, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
And, what of Peter? What lesson is here for us with Jesus’ attention to Peter after the resurrection?
Imagine. You know the times are getting tougher. Your friend has promised to stand with you. In your heart, you know that things will get a lot worse than your friend can imagine and that he won’t stand with you and, he doesn’t. But, it’s more than just not standing with you. He stays on the sidelines — he doesn’t leave. And, then he denies knowing you three times — just as you knew he would.
His commitment to love and justice is in his head — not grounded in his heart where it can be nurtured and grow.
John 21:15 “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Think about that. No judgment. No accusations. No lack of trust.
Peter answers, “Yes, Lord” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Peter now has the law written on his heart. He has the Holy Spirit to help him stay strong. He has learned from Jesus and personally knows the power of his own faith.
Beautifully there is no judgment or doubt on Jesus’ part — no words about Peter’s past — it’s TODAY. Jesus is in TODAY when he looks at Peter with love, compassion, and forgiveness and deep trust when he says, “feed my lambs.”
“Shepherd my sheep.”
“Feed my sheep.”
John 20:22 (message) “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
Ideas in your head do not have the power of the same things coming from your heart.
LIVE THE GIFT — the law written on your heart — the Holy Spirit to help you — learn from Jesus and personally know and live the power of your own faith and the powerful words from John 20:21 “Peace be with you! As the father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Feed his lambs.