Something for Nothing
Once more he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” – John 21:17
Discipleship is not giving something for nothing; discipleship is giving nothing for something! Peter had nothing to give Jesus except his failure. Jesus took it, forgave it, and said, “Feed my sheep.” When you have just made a total idiot of yourself in front of your friends, your enemies, and, indeed, the whole world, how incredible to hear Jesus commission you to serve him again!
Peter had served Jesus for three years. In his opinion, he had been giving him something for nothing. Hadn’t he given Jesus the benefit of his strong body and personality, his time, his energy, his enthusiasm? And all for nothing, Peter must have thought proudly to himself. He had not charged Jesus for his services, or demanded special rooms or treatment when they traveled together.
But after the Cross, Peter was a broken man. He had denied his Lord and had followed him afar off. He came to realize discipleship is not giving something for nothing; discipleship is giving nothing for something!
Jesus loves us when we fail. We come to the end of our fleshly effort to be something or to do something and lay our nothings in his hand, and he gives them back to us, dressed in something new. He gives us hope for the future, a job to do for him, a sense of being needed after all, his power to overcome, and a great sense of worth. Now that’s something!
Thank you, Jesus!
For Further Study: John 21:15-23
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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