To enter into all the aspects of Christ as life revealed in the Gospel of John, we must pay close attention to the last chapter of this book. John 21 is the completion and consummation of the entire book of John and presents shepherding as the practical way to enter into and experience all the aspects of Christ seen in the previous 20 chapters. Shepherding is composed of 1) cherishing others by making them happy, pleasant, and comfortable, and 2) nourishing others by feeding them for the goal of normal growth in life. In John 21 the Lord Jesus shepherded Peter after his great failure of denying the Lord (18:17; cf. Luke 22:54-62). In His love for Peter the Lord came to restore Peter’s love toward Him after Peter’s natural love and confidence had been dealt with. When the Lord asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me more than these…do you love Me…do you love Me?” Peter must have felt defeated and subdued and could only reply, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You” (John 21:15-17). The Lord shepherded Peter so that he could shepherd others by faith in the Lord and in all humility. As he returned to the Lord, Peter fully realized he could have no confidence in his own love and care. As one who had utterly failed and been lovingly restored, he could render the proper, tender care to God’s flock, shepherding the believers (1 Pet. 5:2).
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