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Showing items filed under “Sherin Swift”


Matthew 26:17 

The Last Supper. Judas betrays Jesus. Peter denies Jesus.

Reclining there around a Passover table, the disciples could not possibly understand what was about to unfold. Earlier in the day, Jesus had mentioned that his time was drawing near, and made arrangements to share the meal with them, and it probably seemed routine enough. But even after all these the shocks and surprises they've experienced with Jesus, I doubt they could have been prepared for what he would say that night.

They had spent so much time with him and they had sacrificed many things to follow, but here was a moment to pause as they celebrate one of the most significant moments in history between God and humanity. The Passover was the ultimate intervention of God, when he pulled his people out of Egypt after years of suffering and abuse. This powerful display of God's power marked the Hebrew people for the centuries that followed and became a defining moment in God establishing who he is - distinct and holy among all the other gods.

Here was a God who would not ignore the cries of his people. Here is a God who is not distant, but near. Here was a God who would step in with power to rescue his children.

This night, as they shared a meal and recalled God's mighty exploits, Jesus reveals that one of them would betray him. They are grieved, and wondered who it could be, saying "Surely you don't mean me, Lord?" Perhaps they were looking for reassurance from Jesus, or perhaps they were questioning their own commitment. Perhaps they were simply shocked... after sharing so much of their lives together, after seeing the miracles and experiencing Jesus' love and compassion, how could any of them betray him?

Posted by Sherin Swift with

You Must Follow Me - Part 2

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Taking a quick look at John 21 and what it means to follow Jesus - click HERE to read the Part One.

As we look further at this passage, there is something else that deeply challenges me. Jesus calls Peter into a life of service for the Kingdom of God, asking him in verse 17 to "feed my sheep."

Peter had done so much already by walking alongside Jesus for years as a disciple, leaving his work and family, then living through the agony of denying him at his execution. Having witnessed the resurrection, he has proclaimed his love for Christ three times and received the call he will spend the rest of his life on earth fulfilling.

And yet, Jesus once again has to tell him in verse 19 and then again in verse 22 to follow him! In spite of everything that has happened, Jesus is still giving the same call as he did in chapter one to those who would listen: "follow me."

This takes the wind out of me sometimes. I am a bit of a dreamer, but once I set my mind to something, I like to work my plan to get there. There are so many times in my Christian journey where I foolishly thought, "If I just had this one additional answer..." or "if God would just do one more thing for me, I could really do what he asked more easily."

As a minister, I often thought I just needed more clarity about my calling, and once I had that I would be able to serve God without so much struggle. As I learned more about my purpose, I believed it would only get easier. But here, years into this journey, I see Peter get perfect clarity from Jesus himself but he still has to be reminded that simple, core message over and over: follow me.

I think we make it really complicated at times, when in the most basic sense, we are all constantly answering that one basic call. The Holy Spirit still calls people this way today. It's the command Jesus was giving since he started his public ministry. In many ways, it was the desire of God's heart for us even back in the Garden of Eden.

No matter how far we have come in our walk with the Lord, no matter how much we have seen, no matter how much we have done to serve him, daily we must choose to yield to that still small voice that beckons us further:

"Follow Me."