March 21, 2015
QT with the Gospel of John is ending with today’s QT. Jesus asks Peter the same questions three times “Do you love me”? and when Peter answers yes three times, but the command Jesus gave after Peter answered yes is a little different. I’m not sure if it’s of any significance, but it caught my eye that Jesus responds to the first the Peter says yes with “Feed my lambs.” with lambs being plural. Lamb is a a young sheep. And second time Jesus responds to Peter’s yes, he says “Take care of my sheep” with sheep being singular. And the 3rd times Jesus responds, he says “Feed my sheep."
Is there a significance to the subtle differences? I just look at some other peoples commentaries on this passage from various sites on the internet, and the general sense I get now is that in the first time Jesus commands to Peter, he’s telling him to feed the young (in faith, not age), those who are just starting to believe, to nurture them with spiritual food. And in the second time when Jesus says to “Take care” seems to be saying to “watch over, govern” the sheep, and the sheep here, I think, is singular because he’s referring to the believers who form the body of Christ which are one in Christ. Lastly Jesus says to “Feed the sheep” singular again, as believers too require continued nurturing of the spiritual food.
I can relate to having been a lamb receiving nurturing from the sheep, and now having grown spiritually to act as part of one body of Christ in nurturing lambs with the Word and through our sacrifices, as well as in taking care of and feeding the sheep ourselves with the Word and our sacrifices and support for each other. I’m grateful for having been fed as a lamb, and to have grown spiritually to be feeding other lambs as well as the sheep, including myself. This… is perhaps the greatest miracle of Jesus, the one body of Christ.
Application: feed the lambs, take care of the sheep, and feed the sheep