Terry J. Hallock
Matthew 28:16-20; John 21:15-17
October 24, 1999
What would you think of parents, who after bringing children into the world hardly ever fed them and when they did it was with junk food? Would you describe them as loving and nurturing or irresponsible and insensitive -- indeed, even cruel?
The Church is also a family and into that family the Holy Spirit continues to birth new children -- children born not of the flesh, or human decision, or a husbands will, but born of God!
When Jesus met the disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for one last meal together, John 21:15-17 records this conversation between Peter and Himself concerning the family of the Church and the care of the children within. "When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 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."
Then, only a few days later, just before He was to ascend into Heaven Matthew 28:16-20 records the last teaching Jesus would give His church. "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age."
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