Summary: Following the Master can be best seen by 1) Loving Christ more than everything else (John 21:15–17), by 2) Being willing to sacrifice everything for Christ (John 21:18–19a), and by 3) Following Christ (John 21:19b–25).
In R.B. Fleming’s book, Peter Gzowski: A Biography (Dundurn Press), Fleming carefully read Gzowski’s writings, studied his tapes and interviewed his friends. Running down Gzowski’s stories, he found again and again that they were exaggerated or even imaginary. Yet, Gzowski was a first-class magazine writer and editor, an author of books, a tireless campaigner for literacy and, above all, a radio host. He died in 2002, at 67, a famous victim of nicotine poisoning. (http://www.nationalpost.com/complicated+Canadian+romancer/3427171/story.html#ixzz0xpeVlV6U)
When we sin, it is a tactic of the devil to argue that, having sinned, we have forfeited our chance for a successful and happy Christian life and that we might as well go on sinning. Like most of the devil’s statements this is untrue. Though we sin, upon repentance, we have nevertheless not forfeited our chances for a full Christian life, nor dare we go on sinning. Instead, ("Following the Master") is that of repentance and restoration. This is the point of the story of Peter’s restoration by Jesus in John 21. Peter had failed the Lord in his hour of apparent need. He had abandoned him and had compounded his cowardice by a threefold denial that he had ever known him. Yet Jesus loved Peter, and Peter knew that he loved Jesus (Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John : An expositional commentary (Pbk. ed.) (1635–1636). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.).
Following the Master can be best seen by 1) Loving Christ more than everything else (John 21:15–17), by 2) Being willing to sacrifice everything for Christ (John 21:18–19a), and by 3) Following Christ (John 21:19b–25).
Following the Master can be best seen by:
1) Committed Christians who Love Christ More than Anything Else (John 21:15–17)
John 21:15-17 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. (ESV)
Peter learned the hard way what it means to love Jesus Christ. He had enthusiastically declared his unfailing devotion to Him more than once. At the Last Supper, “Simon Peter said to [Jesus], ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You’ ” (John 13:36–37). A short while later he boldly proclaimed, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away” (Matt. 26:33). Yet when "Following the Master" was on the line, Peter’s self-confessed love failed and he openly denied three times that he even knew Jesus. His vaunted courage proved to be nothing but empty talk when facing a threatening situation.