THE SERVANT GENERAL
TENDING THE FLOCK – 7
gospel: John 21:15-19
is the Master; Peter is his first and foremost servant leader.
What Jesus says to Peter he is also saying to all servant
asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” (v.15a,16a,17a).
When Peter says yes, Jesus tells him three times, “Feed/tend
my lambs/sheep” (v.15b,16b,17b). Servant leaders are
to care for God’s people, protecting them and nourishing
them. Now Jesus connects love for him with caring for his
flock. Jesus loves his people, and would naturally care for
them. But he has now entrusted this to his servant leaders.
If we love God, then we must give our all in caring for His
is also important, because Jesus is lovable since he is perfect,
but his people are often not so lovable because they are so
imperfect. So servant leaders will be challenged in giving
their all in caring for people. They might at times even think
that those they are caring for do not deserve it. That is
when they need to keep focused on Jesus, and know that his
sheep have been entrusted to them. He died for us even when
we were sinners, and so out of love for him, we care for his
flock even if they seem not to merit such love and care.
asked Peter three times, to correspond to the three times
that Peter denied him. Many Christian leaders of course love
Jesus, but oftentimes their love falls short of the fullness
of unilateral and unconditional love. There are even times
when we in effect deny him through our thoughts, words and
deeds. So Jesus wants to make sure. If we are to be worthy
and effective servant leaders, then, out of our love for Jesus,
we must care for his sheep. And we do so according to how
he has cared for us, even unto death. We do so not by following
our own desires and priorities. “Amen, amen, I say to
you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and
go where you wanted” (v.18a). Rather, you must allow
the Lord to even “lead you where you do not want to
leaders serve in Jesus’ way, according to his example.
Thus Jesus finally says to us, “Follow me.” (v.19b).