Peter is one of the best known characters in the Bible. He was a fisherman called to be a disciple of Jesus in the inner circle of His followers. He had several dramatic moments recorded in the gospels. He preached to and led the Church in the years right after Jesus’ resurrection, wrote two letters in the New Testament, and eventually was put to death as a martyr by the Roman empire.
Notice what Jesus said to him when he was first drafted onto the small team of disciples.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19)
Following would lead to fishing. Peter would become a different person who did a different kind of fishing. Peter would bring the message of Jesus to people, trying to persuade them to become followers of Jesus.
Fast forward about three years later after Jesus has gone to the cross, risen from the dead, and appeared to the disciples. Peter denied Jesus but now was being forgiven, restored to leadership, and called to serve. Jesus asked Peter three times to affirm his love for Jesus.
“Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” “ (John 21:16)
Peter would show his love for Jesus by taking care of people (aka, sheep) who followed Christ. It’s similar to a parent telling a child, “If you love me then show it by taking care of your brothers and sisters.”
Following Jesus leads to Fishing for People.
Loving Jesus leads to Taking Care of People.
Forming a Life Group is not the end goal. The end goal is for people to follow the Lord in community with other people as they live out their God-given purpose. A life lived this way will prepare us to enter into eternity, stand before God, and experience ‘life after life’.