Thursday, January 26, 2017

That Was Said Before

John 21:15 "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs."
 Jesus is a man of few words because he doesn't need to say much. There are 613 Judaic Laws in Mitzvot, or "Commandments". Jesus had merely one law: "Feed my lambs!"

Think on the implications of feeding Jesus' "lambs".  First off, the question at hand in reference to Jesus was, "Do you love me?" If the answer was in the affirmative, there was a way to show it! Then "feed my lambs".

Let's examine John 14:15: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

That is the only law, and what are his Commandments?
Matthew 22:37 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
The "Greatest Commandment" is to "love God" and its corollary is to "love others", knowing full well that you already love yourself! Therefore, Jesus had only one Law, not 613 as the Jews did! Let me call this "law of God", "the commandment to love". One God, one Christ, one baptism, one faith, and one Commandment!

Back now to John 14:15: It commands that if anyone loves Jesus, then that person MUST love others. Of course by loving others is the way to show love for Jesus. The others are "the sheep".

John 21:15 is how Jesus makes his point: "If you love me, keep my commandments," which becomes "If you love me, feed my sheep!" Peter is implored to obey the law of God by following the only true Commandment. "Obeying" boils down to strictly "loving"!

Sheep are the animate plants in the shepherd's garden. David tended his sheep lovingly and was anointed by God to be king. If Christians tend the sheep, the process of tending to them is becoming part of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). David was anointed to lead the nation. We are anointed to lead people who Jesus calls "the sheep", not to slaughter, but to eternal life!
Genesis 4:2b "Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground."
Cain tended to the earthy garden and Abel tended to the spiritual garden. The ground represents the world and the world entices the flesh. Abel was so enticed. However, by "keeping the sheep" Abel was loving God, as we see in John 21:15

Abel was righteous because he tended the right garden. Cain was angry, with God and himself, because he failed to measure up, placing more emphasis on the world. It was Abel who truly tended the garden because the results show that Abel was favored by God because of his sacrifice. Essentially, Abel's offering was approved because he tended God's sheep, symbolic of life and people.

Adam (representing mankind) was assigned one vocation:
Genesis 2:15 "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."
Adam's job was to "dress and keep" the garden of Eden. Why was that important? Genesis 2:9 indicates that at the center of the Garden was the Tree of Life. Dressing and keeping the garden was effectually tending to Jesus Christ, who was represented as the Tree of Life, and the tending was to be centered on only it (Jesus).

Tending God wasn't a suggestion; it was a Commandment! "Adam, if you love me, tend to me!" Sounds much the same as John 14:15 and also the First Commandment! That was a simple thing then because there were not others, save Eve. Adam tended to the "sheep" which was Jesus the Lamb of God by tending to the Tree of Life.

In essence, Adam's job assignment was the single command, "If you love me, tend to my garden." Jesus' garden was the Tree of Life, Abel's garden was the sheep and so was Peter's. Abel's "sheep" was the firstly of his flock (the Lamb), and Peter's was the sheep (others).

Nothing ever changed with Jesus. His Voice in the garden said, "if you love me, tend to me." His voice to Abel was, "tend to my sheep". His job assignment to David was "tend to my sheep", and what the son of David told Peter to do is that one Commandment, "tend my sheep!"

Yes, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow! Tending to his garden whether trees of lambs, is love. That is the great and only Command!

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