Posts Tagged ‘sheep’


“I’m very fond of You, Jesus…”

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” ~ John 21:15-19 (ESV)

Jesus uses the word ἀγαπάω agapaō translated “love” which means “to love dearly” in verses 15 & 16. Jesus challenges Peter’s answers. Now, in verse 17 Jesus uses a different word. Knowing Peter would grieve and be offended at the being asked a third time, He says, “Simon, son of Jonas, are you fond of me?” φιλέω phileō, which means “to love affectionately as a friend.”

Noting this, observe what word Peter uses in response to Jesus. In verse 15 Peter says literally, “you know that I am fond of you.” Φιλέω phileō.  Again in verse 16, Peter says the same thing, “O Lord, you know that I am fond of you.” Φιλέω phileō. The third time Jesus asks Peter, he responds, “O Lord, you know all things, you know that I am fond of you!” Φιλέω phileō.

The reason Jesus asks Peter three times is to determine if he really loved Jesus above all else. Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Jesus wanted Peter to understand the difference in what He expected from him, and where Peter was in his heart.

Being a disciple is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself – and also to love God above even your neighbor to the point where you would give your life for His sake (vs. 18-19).

Jesus used wolves to describe dangers that exist to us. In Luke 10:3 Jesus instructed His disciples as He sent them out in two’s, “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” Jesus was talking about human wolves that are agents of the devil. Today the wolves are more numerous, more cunning and more sophisticated! Even more alarming is this fact: wolf attacks are not limited to outside the home. Consider the “Cyberworld.” Wolves are attacking inside our homes too.

How do wolves attack? They come in sheep’s clothing. They try to make us disciples of the devil by convincing us to spend our time being taught and influenced by them. These wolves separate, disarm and devour unprotected victims.

Jesus gave us a warning about wolves, but He also gave us a promise, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. Jesus defended His followers by keeping them together (usually with Him), by warning them and by teaching them the gospel. Here is my top ten list of wolves attacking inside your home and some Christ-like defenses:

10. Wolves attacking through books with worldly philosophies. All kinds of non-biblical lifestyles are being promoted through books; occult, sex-romance, evolution, etc. Jesus exposed His disciples to biblical content, not rubbish! When you select books, consider the worldview that is being taught. Select books that are written by Christian authors from trusted publishers. Research books online.

9. Wolves attacking through network television and movies.Entertainment helps no one except those who sell it! Families waste massive time on this medium. The lion’s share of entertainment is produced by unbelievers, promoting all kinds of unbiblical lifestyles. Soap operas and sitcoms are training the minds and hearts of parents, and animated movies ”babysit” and are training the hearts and minds of children. Jesus personally “entertained” by telling stories with biblical themes, and grounding His followers in the gospel. He warned them about false philosophies. Place your television in a public area. Carefully select videos and movies. Point out false philosophies and unbiblical lifestyles. Install a filter or better yet, don’t subscribe to cable. Tell, read and watch biblically-based stories.

8. Wolves attacking through video games: more entertainment.Graphic nudity and pornographic sex are installed on many video games, even some children’s versions! Players are trained to kill and seduce. Other dangers exist through gaming with strangers. Jesus was always interacting with His disciples. Choose games that encourage you to interact in conversation while playing. Play board games, card games, outdoor games and family video games that you can do together.

7. Wolves attacking through secular music. Satan uses music to seduce and to indoctrinate disciples. Jesus provided the gospel and now Christ-glorifying music is available in every genre. Select Christian music for your home and car. Train your heart, soul and mind for Jesus!

6. Wolves attacking through texting. Texting is another activity that can be used for evil. The sports icon Tiger Woods used texting inside his home to arrange for sexual liaisons. You have probably read about “Sexting,” a common way that teenagers are sharing pornographic images of themselves. A device that is enabled for texting is a tool that is very hard to monitor and not essential to living a productive life or glorifying Christ. Jesus was open in His communication. Avoid secret activities in your family.

5. Wolves attacking through guests in your home. Hospitality is a biblical way to share the gospel with your neighbors, service people and extended family. You should practice hospitality! But be aware that we all can fall if separated. Jesus interacted in groups. Remember that wolves separate in order to harm but Jesus kept believers together for safety and accountability. Keep your family together when you have guests, or at minimum make sure that you or your spouse visit along with your children.

4. Wolves attacking through the internet. The internet is one of the greatest inventions of our time! It is being used to spread the gospel and to help in many ways. However every category of attacking wolf exists on the internet through websites, email and chatting. Pornography is attacking the minds and hearts of most, including Christians. Place your computer in a public room. Use a good internet content filter for the children. Use accountability software like Covenant Eyes for adults and older children.

3. Wolves attacking through social networking. Although this medium is used in great ways, this may be the most dangerous tool of all. Just this past weekend a man was convicted for seducing four underage girls he captured through social networking. Spouses are meeting old flames. Children are being kidnapped. Families are being destroyed. The wisdom of two’s employed by Jesus in Luke 10 is the key here. Establish joint accounts with your spouse or know one another’s passwords. Know your child’s password and carefully monitor their activity. Warn them about predators. Only allow friends and followers that you personally know. Once again use Covenant Eyes software for protection.

2. Wolves attacking through your children’s sin nature. Sin entered all people in the garden. Your children do not require outside influences in order to sin! They are born sinners; help them to know that fact. Help them to learn to self-diagnose sinful behavior and readily confess their sins.

1. Wolves attacking through your sin nature. This is the “top wolf” for a reason. Your sins will blind you to the wolves that are attacking you and your family. Be spiritually cleansed so that you can see the enemy and protect your family! Confess your sins to the Lord and to your family. Be accountable to your spouse and church. Get the victory over your sins by asking the Lord for help.

You and your children are being discipled every waking moment! Who or what is doing the disciple-making: Jesus or wolves? As a family shepherd, you must protect your sheep. Destroy the wolves that threaten your family, or at least keep them at bay. The writer of the 23rd Psalm had no fear of wolves because Jesus was with him. Do what Jesus did and experience the abundant life He promised.

~ Alan Melton