Loving Jesus Christ – PT.1

Loving Jesus Christ – PT.1

Editor’s Note: Through his early years Broadus had an education that was typical of the era. Sometimes he was schooled at home for lack of a school near enough to attend.

Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him: Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him: Feed my lambs. JOHN 21:15

All through the summer night, the seven disciples had toiled in vain, moving their boat from one place to another, casting their net on this side and on that. However, with a fortune not uncommon in their calling, they had taken nothing at all. In the dim light of the early dawn they saw a man standing on the shore and did not know who he was. But presently he spoke to them in a kindly tone, in a familiar way, and said, “Children, have you any food?” They answered, a little grimly I suppose: “No.” And he said, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you shall find.” There was something in his tone, it may be-or something commanding in his manner—and although they had toiled so long in vain, they obeyed him. And now they were not able to draw the net into the boat for the multitude of fishes.

The character of two leading men among these disciples is here depicted as it is elsewhere in the sacred history. John, who had great sympathy with the Lord, and great spiritual insight, was the first to recognize who it was. He said, “It is the Lord.” Simon Peter, as soon as this fact became known, could not wait for the rest but plunged into the sea-always impulsive and impetuous. When they came to the shore, there were fish broiling on the coals, and some bread, and they ate their humble morning meal together. It is a very homely story. It does not look as if there were much going on there, and yet the greatest things in this world, you know, have usually sprung from simple surroundings. And the best lessons of life are often to be had in lowly circumstances.

One lesson which our Lord teaches us here by his own example is, that we ought to take great pains in rebuking a friend for his fault. It is a difficult task to tell a man of his fault in such a way as to do him Loving Jesus Christ the most good. Many persons fail when they come roughly and blindly with their rebuke and do harm rather than good. Others see so clearly what a difficult task it is that they shrink from ever attempting it. Most of us go through life knowing that we ought to tell this person or that person about some fault or other, and we are afraid. Now our Lord has shown that he recognized it as a difficult task by the pains he has taken here to adjust all the circumstance, so that they might themselves suggest what he wanted his friend to remember for his good. Some two years before, on the shore of the same lake, there had been a like miracle when he first entered upon the service of the Lord to be a fisher of men.

So the little fire around which they stood in the dimness of the early dawn clearly called to mind the incidents of a few weeks before, he had stood with others in the early morning around a little fire and the terrible thing that had happened then. When the Lord asked three times if he loved him, Peter was grieved, not merely, I suppose, because it seemed to indicate that there was room for doubt whether he really did love him, but because the three times recalled those fatal three times that he had denied his Lord. So these circumstances, carefully selected, brought it all back to his mind without the Master’s needing to tell him in express words at all. Now I do think there is here a lesson for us of great importance. Let us not imagine we can perform a task with ease about which our Lord took so much pains. Let us not shrink from our duty when we see how careful he was to make all the circumstances conform to his task, with such loving consideration, with such delicate skill.

Be continued tomorrow

Leave a Reply