| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 50 - Page 109 of 185 Index | Zoom | |
"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
(provide pasture for) My lambs (the immature flock). He saith to him again the second
time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou
knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed (shepherd) My sheep (the adult flock).
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? . . . . . Jesus saith
unto him, Feed My sheep (pasture)" (John 21: 15-17).
Here is a second appointment to apostleship. Peter was to care for the young and old
in the faith, giving them pasture. How else can we interpret this figure of pasture other
than to let it represent the Word of God. The figure of sheep and a shepherd for those
days was so apposite. The sheep knew the voice of their shepherd and trusted him. He
led them every day to where they would find the food for their well being and growth.
He was at hand at all times to protect them from enemies.
The figure of pasture for sheep, finding its antitype in the Word of God for Christians,
cannot be stressed enough. Our Lord repulsing Satan by the O.T. stated "Man shall not
live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"
(Matthew 4: 4). How long should we live without physical food, and yet many
Christians starve their spiritual life by inadequate feeding on the Word.
We shall find therefore in Peter's epistles a strong plea for the Word of God.
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" (1: 2-).
Before we examine this statement let us state what is the foreknowledge of God. This
appears to be a supernatural ability of God to see into the future, how His creation will
behave and respond to His love, grace, discipline, etc. Heaven's created spirits including
Satan, and mankind have been given a freedom of choice for thought and action. Adam
and Eve were not puppets but were left free agents in the garden of Eden. The tree of
knowledge of good and evil they were commanded not to touch [(???) EAT!] but
nevertheless were left to obey or disobey. Their progeny, subject to their consciences
have been left with the same freedom. Where the eternal purpose of God has been
endangered God has overruled this freedom.
Coming back to our text, what God has done with certain people or nations is to elect
or choose those for His purposes who He foreknew would respond and implement His
plans for the ages. In the case of Peter he was elected or chosen by God for the ministry
to the people of Israel:
"When they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me (Paul)
as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter: [For He that wrought effectually in
Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was might in me (Paul) towards the
Gentiles]" (Gal. 2: 7, 8).
In every mention of Peter in the Gospels we can see the preparation of this man for
the leading post he was to hold among the Israelites. Especially is this to be seen in