Wed Apr 7-Called Out By Name

John 21:15-19 (CEB)

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

Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 He asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 I assure you that when you were younger you tied your own belt and walked around wherever you wanted. When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will tie your belt and lead you where you don’t want to go.” 19 He said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. After saying this, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me.”


We all have formal given names, nicknames and names our friends gave us. Which form of name you are called depends on who’s talking to you. I always knew when I was in big trouble, because my parents would call me by my first, middle and last names. It was like a judge was calling me before the bench in front of everyone, making sure they knew who I was and what I did. To me, Jesus is asking Peter, three times, “Do you love me?” Peter sadly replies, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.”

Peter has had a crisis of faith, but Jesus doesn’t abandon him, He meets him where he is. Jesus is going to ascend to heaven and is asking Peter serious questions: will you be the shepherd of the flock, care for new believers and sacrifice yourself for them for my sake? Will you love others as I have loved you? Jesus then tells Peter what will happen to him if he agrees to love others unconditionally, and Jesus invites Peter to serve God, saying, “ Follow me.”

All of us at some time in our faith journeys have had doubts, fallen away, felt angry or lost, or mad at God. Even Peter who was a disciple of Jesus denied and abandoned Jesus.  Yet Jesus doesn’t abandon us, Jesus meets us where we are, when we’re broken, confused, and desperate. A crisis of faith can precede growth in our faith.  When we hang on and trust God, knowing that the Holy Spirit is with us, it will bring us comfort when we’re going through tough times. Jesus is asking us, “Do you love me?” Jesus tells us, “I love you so much that I died for you.” Like Peter we can say, “Lord you know everything; you know we love you.” In spite of our human failings Jesus calls us to be his disciples.  Listen, Jesus is calling us, inviting us, saying, “Follow me.”

By Jeneene Reduker

For Pondering & Prayer

Is Jesus asking you serious questions, such as “do you believe in me, do you trust me, do you love me?” How do you answer Jesus? Do you hear Jesus calling you to serve Christ in a deeper way? Jesus calls us to love others unconditionally, who do you need to love unconditionally today?

Prayer: Jesus, our Redeemer, you have called us out by name to follow you and to serve others, teaching us to love them as you have loved us. We thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit who is with us always and especially in times of crisis strengthening our faith, as we continue to follow you. Amen.

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