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.” (John 21:16)
OUT OF CONTROL, Air Florida flight 90 plunged into the frigid waters of the Potomac River. Onlookers watched hopelessly as the airplane and its passengers disappeared beneath the ice. But one bystander, Lenny Skutnik, dove into the water and swam more than thirty feet to rescue Priscilla Tirado, a struggling victim. She was one of fewer than five people to survive. “I wasn’t a hero,” Lenny said. “I was just someone who helped another human being.” Lenny’s actions proved he was a man who lived by that principle.
For three years, Peter had watched Christ heal the blind and resurrect the dead. He had seen Jesus extend grace to the suffering and forgiveness to the sinner. And now, Jesus called attention to His concern for the people by telling Peter to care for them in the same way. If Peter loved Christ, then he would make it clear by loving others—in word and action.
When the Lord questioned Peter’s affection, He impressed on the disciple the practice of love. Christ expected Peter to make his love known by being intimately involved in meeting the needs of other people—guiding, shepherding, and ministering. Christ’s command to Peter—and to us—is clear: “Take care of my sheep.” Let’s follow through on our beliefs by being like Lenny Skutnik, like Peter, and ultimately, like Jesus Christ.
List the ways you can follow through this week as you care for people in your life.
Tammy Kennington is a preschool director and literacy intervention specialist. Tammy enjoys playing board games with her husband and four children.