Summary: The call, the choice and the commitment of Christianity
Three ‘C’s’ of Christ.
March 10, 2013
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you 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 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. Very truly I tell you, 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!”
Peter had a problem with commitment. Had you asked him he would have denied it. When Jesus told Peter that he would deny he even knew Him, Peter vehemently denied it. He swore that he would die first. But when push came to shove – he did exactly as Jesus said he would. He denied Jesus three times.
Had any of us been in Peter’s place – we would have probably done the same thing. He was zealous - but not Spirit filled. He was spiritually immature. He was committed only mentally - not spiritually.
But something happened to Peter. He went from fisherman to martyr in his life. He went from the sea to the city; from talking to roughnecks to talking to rulers; from being uncommitted to dying for a cause. What happened to Peter?
There are three things in Peter’s life I want to focus on this morning. His call; his choice; and his commitment.
One day Peter was fishing in the Sea of Galilee. I imagine he had one of those circular nets that you throw out into the water and net fish. Apparently he was on the shore fishing when Someone walked by that turned his life upside down. Let’s look at this familiar story once again.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”
This was Peter’s ‘Call’. Jesus invaded his little world with His divine presence. Jesus came to the fisherman. He came to the smell of fish guts and sweaty fisherman and the cry of gulls. He came to the lake – to find Peter and his brother Andrew. It was a divine appointment. He hunted them down to challenge them. He sought them out to offer them a call.
How has Jesus done that to you? How has Jesus invaded your life? How has He hunted you down? To what lengths has Jesus gone to find you so He could offer you a call- a call to follow Him; A call to be His disciple?
To some - the call may be through this sermon. That is my hope, anyway. For me it happened forty three years ago. Although I grew up in a home where we had to attend church as I was growing up- I wasn’t living for Christ. Thoughts of Him never entered my mind. I was just doing my own thing and going my own way – and when you do that it results in pain. And there was a lot of pain in my life. Fresh out of the Army; just back from an overseas tour; I was reeling in pain and confusion. Life had become unbearable to me. It seemed to me that whatever you did in life as you searched for happiness it resulted in more pain than pleasure. I felt like you were better off dead. It only made sense. If life was only about find pleasure – because there was more pain than pleasure – I concluded that, logically, you were better off dead.
That is godless thinking. That is life without Christ. But Christ invaded my world. He came to the lakes and forests of Northern Minnesota and found this puny, messed up, confused kid. He called me to follow Him.
I imagine many of you have a similar story. Someway; somehow, Jesus sought you and found you and called you. To some it may be right now as you hear or read these words. Jesus is touching your heart and is gently calling you, “Come. Follow me.”