The Birth of Hope - a known future
Peter’s charge from Jesus to shepherd the church. John 21:15-22
- Love for Jesus leads the way.
- Reconciling the relationship between Jesus and Peter both personally and publicly.
- Jesus emphasized love—it’s all about love.
- Agape and filew are likely interchangeable considering John’s use of these terms throughout the book of John. BEC
- A more important distinction is oida “to know factually” and ginwskw “to know because you have seen it,” as Peter used the latter term in his third response in verse 17. EBC
- Lead and care for the church.
- He is charged to “pasture” both the lamb and the sheep—young and old, mature and immature.
- He is care for them like a shepherd.
- Follow Jesus’ lead. (19)
- It is stated in the present imperative and could be stated “keep on following me.”
- This would make sense because Peter had already chosen to accept Jesus’ invitation to follow him. Mark 1:16-18
- Peter was going to die for the cause just like Jesus—at an older age, at the hands of others, in a manner he does not want. (18)
- Stay the course in following Jesus. (22)
- It is easy to look at the ease of another person’s life and compare.
- It is easy to get distracted by making sure there is equality.
Peter’s epistles were written to love on and prepare the church to follow Jesus in spite of challenges realized and yet to come.
He is now in Rome, the epicenter of the known world, awaiting his time but charging to the end.
Peter’s pep talk to the church. 1 Peter 1:3-6
- Praise God for his mercy that affords us a “living hope.” (3)
- His mercy to not destroy us, which we deserve due to sin.
- His mercy leads to our salvation, a “new birth” where we are being transformed into a new person.
- It is a hope we get to live with.
- It is accomplished because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
- This hope anticipates our “inheritance” that will not and cannot deteriorate, be stolen, or be destroyed. (4)
- By faith we anticipate that inheritance and trust in God’s protection—“ones being guarded”. (5) EBC
- We can celebrate our new life now and anticipate our future destiny in spite of the temporary trials and sufferings we might be facing in the present. (6)
We receive this message from Peter, a man who is facing an imminent death.
- Praise God for the victory found in Jesus!
- Our hope looks beyond the current struggles to an incredible future.
- Keep looking to Jesus as the source for joy.
Benediction: “Christ leads us through trials and suffering, not away from it.”
In light of the shifting shadows of thought within our culture, it is the longing of many to find something to cling to that does not move. Jesus is that steadfast rock that we can stand on historically, now, and for the ages to come. These two epistles are Peter’s final charge to the church to give strength and confidence that is rooted in the life changing work of Jesus Christ.