Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” Jesus answered, “you must follow Me.” (John 21:19 and 21).
One day Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers. They were Simon (later became Peter) and Andrew, his brother. They were fishermen and were putting a net into the sea to catch fish. Jesus said to them, “Follow Me”. I will make you fishers of men!” Bible says “at once” they left their nets and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-22). Now Peter and other disciples were with Jesus over 3 years. Being all-knowing Son of God, Jesus knew Peter is going to deny Him three times on the night of His crucifixion. Jesus predicted this in Luke 22:31-35. And on the night of the crucifixion of Christ, as Jesus predicted, Peter denied Jesus three times. Immediately after his third denial, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Peter’s heart was broken and he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:54-62).
Now, Peter somehow convinced himself that he is not worthy to face Jesus. Discouraged and depressed, he wanted to go back to his old fish-catching job. He felt so downcast because of his unexpected failure of denying His master. On a side note, Peter had high expectations and ambitions in Jesus. But now Jesus was going to be crucified? All dreams dashed!
Although Jesus sent special words for Peter after His resurrection (Mark 16:9), he was not ready to come to Jesus and settle the matter with the loving and gracious Lord. This is true for all backsliders. Coming back to Christ seems harder. But beloved, Jesus’s love and commitment to you cross over your failures. Now at the same place – the Sea of Galilee, Peter went back for fishing with other disciples. (John 21). There on the same shore, Jesus asked him three times if he loves Him. Three times Peter denied Jesus right? So three times Jesus asked him “do you love me?”. Of course, Peter was a little bit reluctant due to the recent painful circumstances but answered ‘yes’ to all three questions. You see, he loved Jesus for sure, don’t you think? But he faced unexpected failure in His life and that was a heartbreaking one, wasn’t it? When Peter said, ‘yes’ three times, Jesus also said to Peter three times this- “feed and take care of my lambs and sheep.” (21:15-17). After reinstating Peter to His loving friendship and fellowship, Jesus said how he is going to die for His name. After this Jesus said to him again, “Follow Me!” In essence, Jesus was saying I called you with a unique purpose. Although you failed, I won’t leave in your failure. My plan for you is well intact for you, Peter! (:)
Then Peter asked Jesus how about the other disciple? How is he going to die? Is he also going to suffer like me? To this, Jesus said, “what is that to you? You must follow Me.” Did you notice the imperative mood in Jesus’s words? “What is that to you? You must follow Me.”
Our daily insight for today is Jesus’s words- “Follow Me!” and “You must follow me!” Is Jesus Christ saying this to you today? “You must follow Me!” He has a pre-planned, well-planned, beautiful plan and purpose in your life. The Lord’s plan for Peter was to open the church door on the day of Pentecost for the first time in history and feed His lambs and sheep with the Word until his death as Jesus predicted. One great preaching on that single day of Pentecost resulted in harvesting 3000 souls, and the church planted on this planet earth. Who has seen God’s wonderful plan for your life?
Jesus had a specific assignment for Peter to do. You and I also have ‘prepared in advance’ tasks from the Lord. Only you can do yours. And only I can do mine. No one else can or will do it. He gave sufficient grace to Peter to fulfill his work. The Lord will provide you with enough grace to do what you should do.
Jesus Christ says, “Follow Me!” and “You must follow Me!”
Got a moment for prayer? “Father in heaven, thank you for today’s insight to follow Jesus. I know Jesus called me today and he said I must follow Him. I am willing to follow you. I believe Jesus Christ died and rose again for my sins. I accept Him as my savior and Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”