When Jesus addresses Peter, rather than by the name given by him, he uses his original name of Simon. He probes Peter, “Do you truly love me?” with Peter getting upset and responding with a weaker “I love you”. It happened three times, mirroring Peter’s denial of Jesus. Both Jesus and Peter knew this questioning was in relation to Peter’s failure. Yet, Jesus is gracious telling Peter, even in his imperfect, sinful state, to “Feed my lambs”, “Take care of my sheep” and “Feed my sheep”. Jesus was willing to place responsibility on Peter, despite his state.
How much are Peter’s responses like our own? How often does Jesus ask us if we put him first, for us to respond in a lukewarm evasive way? If we even attempt to comprehend what he did for us, eventually becoming our sacrifice for sin, he deserves our all.
More amazingly, how much does Jesus place responsibility on us, even though we are imperfect? Jesus doesn’t ask us to beat ourselves up about our failures and our sinful state, but to place our faith in him. He asks us to put him first and to do his will. While we may not all be pastors, we can still look after other in the church, nurture them, take care of them.
For ultimately, this is the way God works. For it by this way that he is glorified.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Co 4:7
As Joshua is appointed by God to take over from Moses. He is reminded of the promises of God. For it is these promises from a faithful God which will see him through to the promised land. It is these promises which will give him hope day by day. Joshua is asked to trust his God. How much more should the promises of God give us hope!
These promises are not without condition. There are precepts attached which condition these promises. He is commanded to obey the whole Law which God gave to Moses. This is not because God is a party-pooper and doesn’t want the Israelites to have fun, but because this Law is good for the Israelites. Similarly, God gives us Law for our own good and we disobey them to our own detriment.
Throughout all of their journey, the Israelites were not alone. God promises to go with them and aide them. Throughout life’s journey, God promises to be with us, to guide us and strengthen us. That he would enable us to keep his Law and so have a prosperous life. Not necessarily in the material things of this life, but in the spiritual blessings.