Jesus said “Do you love me?”

Today’s gospel is over John 21:1-19. I wasn’t going to write about this one today because it didn’t call to me in the way I felt it was supposed to. A verse caught my attention, but not for the intention that Jesus spoke (or at least not what followed in the next verse). Then I decided to write about it anyway.

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One of the purposes of this blog is for me to rekindle my faith. I have a whole long blog post that I plan to write at some point on the parable of the barren fig tree that was the restarting of my spiritual journey. Not to say I haven’t believed in God, but I sure as heck gave up on acting like a disciple of God. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write about my alcoholic year, after my dad’s stroke, but not today. Today is about sharing the Gospel. This is something I plan to do every Sunday.

So, let me start by including the verses from John.

John 21: 1:19

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

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. 18 Very truly I tell you, 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.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

(copied and pasted from Bible Gateway so want to give them credit.)

The verse that struck out to me was verse 18, but not for the reasons Jesus said “indicating the kind of death Peter would glorify God.”

18 Very truly I tell you, 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.”

Okay, so I work as a nurse and I take care of my dad who has dementia and is completely exhausting to me mentally. Not his fault at this point, but still. As a nurse, I take care of lots and lots of old people. People who need to be dressed and toileted and whose brains sometimes function like a small child. I’ve been struggling lately a little with burnout. Taking care of all of these needs and some are completely exhausting.

They have to go bathroom every 5 minutes and walk slower than molasses, can’t pull their own pants down, or wipe themselves. Nobody tells you how much of going back and forth to the bathroom is nursing.

Yep, the gospel talked to me about old people. Impressive right?

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This verse led me to all the people I take care of who did not see this coming. They don’t want to be in a nursing home. They don’t want to be in the hospital. They want to be in their own homes and yet they are often unsafe and forced to be somewhere they really don’t want to be. Like my dad.

You can ask anyone. I’ve gotten pretty obsessive about my health. I don’t want a stroke. I don’t want dementia. I am doing everything I can to prevent it. But true story. WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE at some point. This is one of the hard fast rules that keeps me tied to my faith.

For whatever reason, verse 18 gave me empathy for these old people I take care of. Sometimes you are lead where you don’t want to go and sometimes its necessary.

I feel my spirit and the spirit of others. I do believe we are more than flesh and I believe we have a purpose here on Earth.

Okay, back to the gospel.

Verse 19 Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

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I am trying hard to follow Jesus. I cannot tell you how many times I fail (just in a single day).

Mathew 26: 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

I am so human.

Following Jesus is hard. I pray every day to be kind and I often, often fail. Maybe not in what I say, but in what I think.

Sharing your faith and truly upholding those beliefs fearlessly is hard. I can be completely self-righteous, judgmental, cranky, and unkind in my thoughts, words, and actions.

I had fallen completely off the wagon with my faith. It happens, but that Holy Spirit tugs at your heart when you are a child of God.

I struggle with my faith on the regular, but I am making the effort to spend time with God daily. It is now the first thing I do, BEFORE EXERCISE.

I believe, truly, God will strengthen me. My stupid exercising has led me to this belief. If you don’t exercise, you get weak and winded. If you don’t pray and spend time with God, your spiritual strength does the same.

So, that’s it. My best attempt at being like Jesus and sharing the Gospel. Now onto my exercising and taking care of my body.

Also, if you can say a prayer for me today that I can be kind to all my exhausting old people. They need kindness and yeppers, I do believe God led me there.

Okay on to exercise. Have a great Sunday!

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