WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11
Scripture: John 21:16
John 21:16 says, “He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’” Jesus repeats the very same question to Peter a second time: “Do you love/ag-ah-pay Me?” Do you love Me enough to lay your life down for me? Peter failed that love standard three times! His answer reflects humility. “Lord, you know that I fil-eh-o you.” The Greek word that makes the greatest statement after the obvious declaration that Peter was not as committed as he thought is the Greek word for “tend.” Tend is our word for “rule” or pastor: poy-mah-ee-no. The entire ministerial life of Peter, he had fought with James and John over who was going to be the greatest. In humiliation, he took the opposite position. He knew he had forfeited being first. Jesus was addressing priorities with the command, “Feed…tend…feed…” The Greek word for “feed” in verse 15 is the word bos-ko. Bos-ko means, ‘To promote the welfare of every individual ahead of yourself.’ It means to serve others in sacrifice. Priority number one of verse 15 is clear, “Hey Peter, do you love Me enough to die for Me? Obviously not since you denied Me three times. How about trying this for a change – put the people you minister to ahead of yourself.” Jesus thumped Peter right between the eyes with a Biblical brick, “You are not in ministry to build yourself a kingdom. You are in ministry to serve other people. And it is only when you obediently embrace other people first that you can qualify for the poy-mah-ee-no rule. You want to rule first and let other people serve you.” Jesus said, “You serve other people and that qualifies you to rule.” I wish we had had a course in seminary that taught that one truth. Peter had to learn it the hard way, he had to learn it through failure. The great thing about learning it through failure is it stays with you for the rest of your life. Have we caught this key and foundational characteristic of Christ-likeness?