Sometimes I still think, “What does the resurrection really mean to me?” “How does it impact my following of Jesus?” This is when I think of Peter. The resurrection was tied to redemption of his denying Christ – it was what helped him realize he was called to follow Jesus in such a way as to proclaim His presence in the world.
Jesus told Peter he would be a rock (Matthew 16:18 “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”) I wonder how Jesus would describe my imaging of Him. I guess something to do with a heart…but not in a soft, weak way. I don’t want to be a heart like that. My mother was always telling me that I had to toughen up – I heard that from the time I was little. That’s not it either. I’d like to think of being a tender, strong, steadying kind of heart, loving people in the distinct way they need to be loved in the moment.
When Peter swam to the shore that day (when they caught all the fish after Jesus called out to them to put the net on the other side) the resurrection was the place of a soul-searching question and a commissioning.
The soul-searching question: Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Pressing in…do you love me more than…? It’s a resurrection question. Christ is returning to the Father. In light of this, every disciple has to wrestle with this question time and again. Any commissioning, any calling has to come out of a love for Christ that is more than _____. The “more than” confronts us many times in our lives. It isn’t a one-time deal.
The commissioning: Jesus asks Peter to love people out of the love He has for Christ. He commissions us too - to be His body on earth and feed His sheep. There are so many ways to do that, to love people the way Jesus did. To want for them what Jesus always wanted. To open ourselves to image Christ in the ways He has created us and in the gifts that He has given us. To be as Christ.
Read John 21:15-19
Imagine Jesus asking you if you love Him. What do you want to say to Him?
Imagine Jesus asking you if you love Him “more than ___.” Ask the Holy Spirit to help you fill in the blank. What emotion/thoughts/sensations does this evoke in you?
Imagine Jesus commissioning you to image Him by loving people out of your love for Him and out of His love for you. Can you see what expression of that He is asking you to do this in? If so, talk to Him about it.
Where are you tempted to compare (as Peter did with John)? Talk to Him about this.
Imagine Jesus saying, “Follow me.” Spend today being aware that in the simplest of the ways you live out this day, you are following Christ.
Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE - Unsplash