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Summary: Our love for Christ will lead us toward responsibilities and sacrifice

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The Commitment of the Called

John 21:15-19

Primary Purpose: To show that our love for Christ leads to responsibilities

and sacrifice.

Sometimes it seems that people today just don’t understand the word commitment anymore. In the passage we will look at today, Jesus is calling

Peter to follow Him completely. It is a calling that requires sacrifice. It reminds me of a story of a man who went to his doctor.

The doctor examined him carefully, then called the patient’s wife into his office. “Your husband is suffering from a rare form of anemia. Without treatment, he’ll be dead in a few weeks. The good news it, it can be treated properly with nutrition.”

“You will need to get up early every morning and fix your husband a hot breakfast- pancaske, bacon and eggs, the works. He’ll need a home cooked

lunch everyday, and then an old-fashioned meat and potato dinner every evening. It would be especially helpful if you could bake frequently. Cakes,

pies, homemade bread-these are the things that will allow your husband to live.

“One more thing. His immune system is weak, so it’s important that your home be kept spotless at all times. Do you have any questions?” The wife had none.

“Do you want to break the news, or shall I.” Asked the doctor.

“I will.”, the wife replied.

She walked into the exam room. The husband, sensing the seriousness of his illness, asked her, “It’s bad, isn’t it?”

She nodded, tears welling up in her eyes, “What’s going to happen to me?” he asked, With a sob, the wife blurted out, “The doctor says you’re going to

die!”

Jesus asks a Question- One could ask why Jesus would have to ask anyone a question. Jesus knows all things. He understands the depth of Peter’s love

for him. He understood his devotion that would lead to his martyrdom. He understood the depth of pain Peter experienced in denying him. We should

remember that all the other disciples denied him also and ran away just as it says in Matt 26:31. They had all failed him. Jesus apparently wanted him to

understand the depth of commitment that his love for Jesus would lead him to. He wanted him to know that it would even cause him to lose his life v.18

Peter’s love leads to a responsibility- He is called to move away from the comfortable boat where he can caught fish. He is called to tend to the sheep,

the people of God. God loves his people. He wants them to grow. He wants those who are mature to build up his church. The more you know the more

responsible you are to use what you know. As I grow in Christlikeness- my love and concern for the church should grow. I’m not talking about the physical building, but the people.

A man named Bernard L. Brown, Jr once told a story to illustrate how we don’t seem to want to take responsibility for much these days. Brown tells the story of a patient who knocked over a cup of water, which spilled on the floor beside the patient’s bed. The patient was afraid he might slip on the

water if he got out of the bed, so he asked the nurse’s aide to mop it up. The patient didn’t know it, but the hospital policy said that small spills were the responsibility of the nurse’s aide which large spills were to be mopped by the hospital’s housekeeping group.

The nurse aid decided the spill was a large one and she called the housekeeping department. A housekeeper arrived and declared the spill a small one. An argument followed.

“It’s not my responsibility,” said the nurse aide, “because it’s a large puddle.” The housekeeper did not agree. “well, it’s not mine,” she said, “the

puddle is too small.”

The exasperated patient listened for a time, then took a pitcher of water from his night table and poured the whole thing on the floor. “Is that a big

enough puddle now for you two to decide?” he asked. It was, and that was the end of the argument.

Peter was one of the closest 3 to Jesus. He saw miracles and signs that others didn’t see. He was responsible to share what he knew. The apostle

Paul said it this way, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2

Peter’s love leads to sacrifice- To follow Jesus meant to be subject to intense persecution- first from the Jews and then from the Romans. It may

mean intense persecution today. Just like a parent make sacrifices for their children so that they are well fed and cared for, so those who are spiritually

mature should seek to raise up the weaker brothers and sisters around us.

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