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Text for Meditation: John 21:17

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.”

My daughter and I sat watching a movie of the life and ministry of Jesus, one Sabbath afternoon, and I began reflecting on the reason Jesus asked Peter the question in today’s text, thrice.  Failing to receive an answer then, I quickly dismissed it but was forced to contemplate this matter further when my daughter kept asking me a similar question few days later, “Mommy, do you love me?” To be honest, I responded in a similar manner like Peter until the reason for her questioning finally dawned on me. Ever so often, we have heard the account of the life story of Jesus and know very well the background to the Bible text cited above. But how frequently do we actually think about the implications of the question asked of Peter by Jesus, not once but three times?

The incident had occurred shortly after Jesus’ resurrection and it was now His third appearance to the disciples.  Prior to this occurrence, Peter had shamefully denied Christ, boldly betrayed the Son of God with the most outrageous curse words at the time and openly detached himself from the Lord and His ministry.  It is no wonder then that Jesus had to pose the question to him repeatedly until he came to the realization that Jesus knows everything, even his very thoughts.  Jesus only refrained from asking Peter the same question when he acknowledged Him as the Omniscient God, the One who knows everything – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Like Peter, it was only recently that I accepted the fact that as Christians we have to submit ourselves to Christ wholeheartedly and fully trust Him to accomplish His will in our lives.  Until we let go of our own intimate desires or personal goals and trust God to make something of our lives, we will constantly be battling the snares of the devil.  A friend of mine utters unceasingly that we will receive the same tests repeatedly until we learn the intended life lessons from the ‘drama’ that surrounds our lives.  I concur with him and have accepted that as fact: a similar thing happened to Peter.

Today, you may be faced with constant battles that you find insurmountable. Bring them to Jesus.  God knows you, He knows me.  He is not an absentee landlord; He is the owner of the universe. TD Jakes, in his book Naked and not Ashamed writes, “It is a tormenting experience for us to try to accomplish through ourselves what only God and maturity can accomplish in time.”  Rather than struggling to achieve everything on our own, let us surrender all to God.  Afterall, He knows everything and made provision for our lives even before we were born. Trust Him today and everyday!

By: Louise Brown

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