Summary: Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus
INTRO: Jesus spoke of Peter’s life and ministry then speaks of his death. This must have been a shock to Peter for the Lord to speak so openly about his death. Remember Jesus views death not as an enemy but as the vehicle to eternity. When a person has settled the matter of death then and only then he is ready to live and serve. Peter’s death will not be a tragedy, even though he is to be hung upside down on a cross, but it will glorify God. Paul’s great desire is that he would glorify God in life or death. This should be our desire as well.
I. FOLLOW ME
These words from the lips of our Savior must have brought great joy to Peter’s heart. Literally he was saying, “Keep following me.” Jesus had called Peter to follow before just as he had the other disciples.
Mk 2:14 he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me
Jn 1:43 Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
Matt 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men
Peter had taken his eyes off Jesus just as he had done twice before.
Once in Luke 5 he had said to the Lord, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man. O Lord!” Then once on the stormy sea he looked at the wind and waves and begin to sink as he walked on the water. It is dangerous to look at the circumstances instead of the Lord who controls the circumstances. Now here after his great denial the Lord once again says, “Follow Me.”
Our Lord offers us another chance. He is longsuffering toward us. A mistake doesn’t eliminate us from serving the Lord, once we have that sin confessed to the Lord, under the blood, and have His forgiveness. Friend, He calls us the same way today. In Isaiah’s day the Lord said, “Whom shall we send and who will go for us.” Isaiah volunteered and said, “Here am I Lord, send me.”
In much the same way He asks for volunteers today. It may be a tug at your heart, or circumstances that bring the invitation to mind, But He still calls us today.
He calls to salvation. He is not willing that any perish.
“Come unto me all ye that are burdened and heavy laden.”
“Come let us reason together, saith the Lord.”
“Come thou and all thy house.”
He calls us to service.
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”
“If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me”
“If any man serve me, let him follow me”
What an honor it is to be called of God for any reason. Imagine the creator of the universe being interested enough in me to call me specifically. Just when Peter is delighted, forgiven, called again to serve…. He is still impetuous and asks a foolish question.
II. FOLLOW THOU ME
The Lord has to rebuke Peter again and reminds him of his calling to Follow. It matters not what others are doing……Follow Jesus
Others may stumble and fall…………Follow Jesus
Others may be off the wall………..…Follow Jesus
Others may be more blessed……….. Follow Jesus
Others may never find rest…………. Follow Jesus
Others may serve some other way…. Follow Jesus
Others may turn Him away………… Follow Jesus
Your relationship with the Lord is a personal one and to serve Him you’ll have to keep your eyes on Him alone. Your business is serving Him as He said…….FOLLOW THOU ME.
Rudyard Kipling wrote a beautiful poem that reads as follows:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings