John 20:30 – 21:25
20:30-31 Purpose of the Book
21:1-25 Epilogue: Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
The Beginning of the End:
There are a few really useful nuggets that we need to scope-out in this final section.
First, at the end of chapter 20, John says that everything he wrote was written so that all who would read it would know that Jesus really is the Son of God. Remember, John was an eyewitness to all this stuff. John just hoped that through all of the miracles Jesus did, all of His teachings, all of His gracious and loving interactions with people, and His death and resurrection would all show, without a doubt, that Jesus was God in human form. He was the One who was sent to die on the cross for the sins of the world, and that whoever believed in Jesus would have life in Him.
Second, in one of Jesus’ last conversations with Peter (who denied Jesus after He got arrested), He gives a commanding charge, a last order, that would shape the purpose and direction of the rest of Peter’s life. Three times Jesus asks Peter if he loved Him, and three times Jesus then tells Peter to tend or shepherd His sheep. Remember back to Jesus calling Himself the Good Shepherd and all those who place their faith in Him, were His sheep? As a disciple of Jesus, Peter was now in charge of taking care of all those who would place their faith in Jesus. This was a command given directly to Peter, but it also applies to everyone else who is a follower of Jesus. All who follow Jesus must also be watching over and tending to Jesus’ sheep.
Finally, Jesus says to Peter, “Follow Me.” This was a command to Peter that would last a lifetime. Even though Jesus would soon be heading back to heaven and Peter could not physically follow Jesus around any more, Peter was to still “follow Jesus” for the rest of His life. Because Jesus still lives through the Holy Spirit, He is able to give direction and guidance. He would lead Peter, and place things in front of Peter that He wanted him to do. It’s like a mini-version of when Jesus first called all of His disciples saying, “Follow Me.” Now He sets this reminder to “follow Him” the rest of their lives.
Reading through the Gospel of John, we are given all the evidence we would ever need to place our faith in Jesus as our Savior. Through what Jesus did on the earth, it’s easy to believe in Him as the Son of God and our personal Savior.
If you have placed your faith in Jesus as your Savior, Jesus gives you the same command that He gave Peter. You are to tend Jesus’ sheep. Life is not supposed to be lived selfishly but selflessly. Too many people who claim to follow Jesus never really follow what He said. Instead, they live a life focused on themselves, not tending to the needs and concerns of others but wanting others to tend to their own. We must care for others. Serve others. Tend Jesus’ sheep.
Follow Jesus with your life. Let Him lead and guide you. Follow His example. Jesus loved and served others, even to the point of death, so that others may live. His life was a life of self-sacrifice, and, as His followers, we are commanded to do the same.