We seem to be in a time where we are reminded of our mortality with the untimely deaths of some well known celebrities - Victoria Wood, Paul Daniels, David Bowie and Ronnie Corbett to name a few and now Prince.
The word prince is defined as from the Latin noun princeps, from primus (first)
Whatever you think of the man he made a word that could describe thousands of people to describe himself (try googling “Prince” and you will see what I mean). He then went further and turned a common phrase – “Formally known as” to be synonymous with himself, and then a symbol.
I will however never forget hearing and seeing his performance at the half time show at Superbowl 2007. I had stayed up to watch the game, Colts v Bears and Payton Manning was awesome. The game in the rain was watched by 93 million people worldwide and then at half time Prince. The viewing figures went up to 140 million and his rendition of Purple rain, in the rain, was electrifying! A must see performance. But now he has passed.
Another incredible singer to have just died – George Beverly Shea who sang around the world at Billy Graham’s Crusades and “sang live before more people than anyone else in history” and in the process made “how Great thou art” the favourite it became.
The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep”.
The other week we were trying to sell a settee on Gumtree (other providers are available) and at last I had a message that someone was interested and would come around to view. That morning I had been reading the story in John 21 where Jesus asks Peter “Do you love me?” And knew that God was trying to get through to me and impart something important but nothing new was in my head. I had preached many times on these verses emphasising different aspects...
• What did Jesus mean by Love me?
• When he uses the words “more than these”, what could that mean in our lives?
• Is there significance in the feed / tend / shepherd language used?
• Is there significance in the Lambs / Sheep change of wording?
• Who were the Sheep / Lambs?
• Whose were the Sheep / Lambs?
I knew it was something else and I needed to listen. I am constantly amazed that if we ask He responds.
A little later the door bell rang and their on the doorstep was the couple about the settee. In the introductions I realised I knew the young lady, her mum owns my wife Chris’ favourite shop, Me & Mi. Thankfully they liked the settee and decided to buy it and I could go back to my musing. Gradually the penny began to drop, the light began to dawn, in Churhese we would say “the Lord spoke”
“it’s not about Me and Mi but about HIM and HIS”
However much we try to move the centre of everything away from just being about me and my it has a tendency to gravitate back to being me and my needs that require to be fulfilled.
In this scripture JESUS asks “Do you love me” and if you say you do “feed My sheep”. We so want to love him but what about the other stuff we also want? There is a verse of scripture that fits that,
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Has Johns Gospel spoke to you recently? We'd love to know so feel free to share in the comments below.
By Keith Hall
New International Version (NIV)
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