I hope the Easter weekend was able to ignite in us, a yearning for the true worship and reverence the One in whose image we are made.
Inspired by the significance of the past weekend, I decided to write about the mandate given to believers before Jesus ascended into heaven. I’m almost certain that what comes first to your minds is “The Great Commission” as found in Matt 28:19 and Mark 16:15, which begins with “Go“, as regards spreading the gospel all around the world. I however, want to talk about the specific instruction given to Peter in John 21:15-17, that says “Feed my Sheep”.
This instruction was reiterated three times by Jesus to stress its importance and was always preceded by a question, which says “Do you love me more than these”. I want to believe Jesus asked this question because he saw that Peter was only about his business (fishing), and he has forgotten his Master’s business. He was not successful (just like in Luke 5:1-11) until Jesus gave an instruction. This point highlights what our priority should be as we journey through this life; and that if we recognize Him and be about His business, He’ll be about our business.
Now going into the focus of this write-up, the word “Pastor” originated from Latin in the 14th Century, and simply means Shepherd or Herdsman. As used in today’s Christian community, I think the meaning should be Caretaker or Custodian. The instruction God gave us was “Feed my Sheep” and not “Feed your Sheep”. Many leaders have taken over the position of Jesus as the Shepherd. They want people to listen to them more than they listen to God. Also, some of us have put our church leaders in the position of Jesus as the Shepherd. We want to hear them more than we desire to hear God. We read tonnes of their books yearly, and listen to videos and talks, more than we spend time with God, communicate with Him, meditate on His words, and want to develop that personal relationship with Him.
This is not to make invalid, the importance of spiritual materials, fellowship, spiritual parents, obedience to authority, evangelism, and counseling. It is just to stress that all these should not replace our purpose of friendship with God and of true worship and service. We should rather exploit all these channels to the advantage of promoting God’s business.
Just like in 2 Corinthians 3:1-5, let us be that living epistle that needs no letter of recommendation, but only desires that the flock of the “True Shepherd” increases daily, and His love is spread abroad. I pray that Jesus, our Shepherd will continuously graze us in the greenest pastures and fill us with the most peaceful waters.