Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the Easter Season series, "Through The Eyes Of Jesus".
Series: Through The Eyes Of Jesus [#5]
GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS
For denominations that use liturgy each week, the 4th Sunday of Easter is called Good Shepherd Sunday. It amazing how God changes us when we are saved; but even after salvation, it is hard to live a life that pleases God. Part of our growth as Christians is learning from our mistakes. So often, we have to learn the hard way. I want us to notice how God used Peter in spite of Peter’s mistakes.
Before we read our text, I want to remind you of what Jesus saw Peter doing before Jesus died.
1. Someone who was disobedient to Him.
When Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, He took Peter, James, and John with Him. Jesus asked them to stay there, keep watch, and pray. What did they do? They slept. This happened 3 times. At this point, Judas Iscariot showed up with those who were arresting Jesus. What was Peter’s response? He grabbed his sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. He was defending Jesus; but that wasn’t what Jesus wanted him to do. That is not what Jesus had taught him.
When Jesus sees you, does He see someone who is disobedient? When Jesus says, “Pray”; do you pray or sleep? When Jesus says, “Love one another”; do you love or fight? When Jesus says, “Stay”; so you stay or run away?
2. Someone who denied Him.
Jesus had to go through a ridiculous court trial filled with lies. Where were Peter and the other disciples? Hiding. We do find Peter sitting out in the courtyard. Once again Peter is going to mess up 3 times. A servant girl pointed Peter out as a disciple of Jesus; but he denied it. Another girl pointed Peter out as a disciple of Jesus, but he denied it. Then a group of people came to Peter and pointed out the fact that he was a disciple of Jesus; but Peter “began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the Man!”
How often is Jesus put on trial at your workplace, your school, or your home? When that happens do you stand up for Jesus or deny Him?
John 21:15-19 (NIV)
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
3. Someone who was committed to Him.
Although Peter made many mistakes, Jesus did not give up on him. He just continued to grow Peter. On this 3rd appearance of Jesus, He asked Peter this question, “Do you truly love me”? Jesus asked him 3 times. After the 1st time, Jesus told him “Feed my lambs”. After the 2nd time, Jesus told him “Take care of my sheep.” After the 3rd time, Jesus told him “Feed my sheep”. We cannot be who God wants us to be until we commit ourselves to Him 100%.
4. Someone who claimed Him.
It is amazing to me that as inconsistent as Peter was God still used him. Peter denied Jesus 3 times and yet guess who got to preach the sermon at Pentecost where 3,000 were saved? Peter. This doesn’t mean that Peter stopped sinning; but Peter became bold for Jesus Christ. In Acts 4 we find Peter boldly preaching before the Sanhedrin, (the same group that had Jesus killed.). History tells us that Peter died by being crucified on a cross. History also tells us that Peter made them crucify him upside down because he was not worthy to die like Jesus did. What a change.
When you begin to live your life like God tells you, doing things His way; you then will become bold for Jesus. You will stop caring about what others think and be concerned only about what God wants.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He loves us, protects us, guides us, and provides for us. When Jesus sees you does He see a disobedient denier; or a committed claimer?