Resurrection – how is it lived out?

Lorna FaulknerPosted on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 by Lorna Faulkner

John 21:15-25
Relationship and responsibility

First, let’s look at when this conversation happened – this is a key to one of the things we need to learn, I think…

After breakfast. Jesus had business to do with the disciples, but he chooses fellowship first. He is concerned first with relationship, then with responsibility. It’s very interesting, we so often choose responsibility first – in our churches, our families, our homes and even our jobs, and relationship comes a poor second, but Jesus does breakfast first, business next.

Now let’s look at his approach to the business…

He takes Peter aside. Imagine what Peter is thinking – he may have been waiting for the rocket since the first time he saw the resurrected Jesus…when will I have to face up to this…when will we have ‘the conversation’ but Jesus doesn’t go there, do you love me? Relationship. Then feed my sheep. Responsibility. Again. Not feed my sheep then I’ll know you really love me…subtle difference but key.

I have messed up, more times than I am willing to admit and I expect many of you have – how do we feel?? We want to be taken apart but he doesn’t do what we do. He doesn’t pick over the bones of our stupidity. He doesn’t make us crawl in the dust. He just says do you love me?

Then get up and get on with it…

I know we do have to deal with ourselves, our motivations, the reasons we messed up – but this isn’t necessarily a condition of our being used by him.

We don’t like this, the worm in us wants to feel especially bad because we think it equates to how much we need to make up for what we did. Conviction doesn’t doesn’t have a boiling point and then forgiveness opens up. It is ‘immense and free!’

You messed up. Do you love me? Then on your feet, let’s move on…

We are very concerned with how well we’re doing. How many times we’ve not fallen, how many times we’ve fallen and got back on our feet, how well we are learning to get it right, but, you know Jesus isn’t counting…

1 Corinthians 13 says “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” God is Love. God keeps no record of wrongs. He is not counting.

So, where does responsibility come into this? This is not just about restoring Peter but about calling him to his purpose. It’s easy, what do we do in response to this relationship? Anything he asks, not forgetting that sometimes we won’t do it and He’s still not counting!

You love me? Feed my sheep. You love me? Take care of my lambs. You love me? Follow me. Even if you don’t want to go there. Follow me. And while we’re at it, it is of no concern of yours what I choose to do with other people. You follow me.

We like the self-indulgence of comparing ourselves to others but Jesus isn’t allowing us this. That’s why the relationship has to come first.

If it doesn’t, we see what others are doing and either judge them for doing it or judge ourselves for not doing it. Qe formulate a list of things we need to be and do and beat ourselves up for not ticking all the boxes in the same order that others have ticked them. That’s called religion. Jesus isn’t very keen on that.

We don’t know if he had a little chat with all of his disciples over those days, giving them all a pep talk and a call, ‘Peter, feed my sheep’, ‘John, look after the widows’ etc. It’s a thought though?!

He may ask the same things of all of us, but at different times. He may ask the same thing of us at the same time but we won’t know if we’re not walking in relationship with him.

We will have some good ideas, but they may begin to jar with other people’s if that’s all they are and this will cause friction among us.

It’s important for community that we are walking with Him individually, as well as corporately, otherwise all we do is sift through ideas and opinions. We need his purpose. Not our own.

This is the beginning of the answer to the question, ‘Resurrection – how is it lived out?’

It is lived out in relationship with him. Relationship and responsibility find a meeting place in his presence. Come under his authority. You love me? Then follow me…

Eat with him. Walk with him. Talk with him. Respond to him.

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