The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

My SOAP Study, John 21

River Glen has been doing a series on TEXT:_ over the last three weekends, and today is the "wrap-up" of the series, which featured a challenge - read the entire book of John, one chapter a day, and utilize the SOAP method to read and understand the chapter being studied.

Pastor Ben Davis has been blogging about each chapter over the last three weeks, and in a completely unsolicited way, I present to you my own notes from the final chapter - the story of a fishing trip.

Scripture: John 21:15-19
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly 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 truly 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. I tell you the truth, 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 indicated the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

Observation: This whole paragraph is about a discussion that Jesus had with Peter – one that Jesus knew he'd have to have, or else Simon the son of John wouldn't be the "Rock" that he would build his church upon. The first act of this little two-part scene was that of Peter and six of the disciples (including, it is assumed, John) going on a fishing trip. Jesus appeared, not only to help them with their catch, but to have breakfast with them. In the second act, however, the scene shifted to Peter. Remember, he had denied knowing or being a follower of Christ three times; Jesus had to resolve this, especially in the presence of the other disciples. He did this by asking Peter three times if he truly loved Him. Jesus then informed him that his life was going to change – and how he was going to die for His name. But Jesus didn't care about that – he just demanded the same thing of Peter that he had the other 10: "Follow me."

Application: We really screw things up sometimes. We look back at things that we've done and think, "There is no possible way that Jesus is going to forgive me for doing that." Doubt was what kept Thomas from believing in a risen savior without seeing and feeling; doubt here was what kept Peter from being in fellowship with his Lord and master. It is symbolic, of course, that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him once for each time he denied Him. I've always wondered if, when Jesus told him the third time to "feed his sheep," a rooster crowed in the distance. That would have been a sign to the others as to why Jesus kept asking him the same thing over and over. Not that it matters, of course – because he forgives us every time we screw up. Every time we do, though, he does want to hear us say that we believe him.

Prayer: Lord, even though we love you and have believed you to be our Savior, sometimes we do things that we're afraid to bring to you for forgiveness. Remind us, dear Jesus, that you have removed all of our sin, as far as the East is from the West, and that you die for all of it – not some, not a little, but all. Teach us to confess our sin, regardless of how bad we think it may be, and give it up to you.