Pray that God’s emphasis during this Conference will be very clear and explicit to every participant, and will be reflected in every segment of the Conference. Ask for harmony and unity of purpose in every area during the Conference.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”– John 21:15-17
“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.”
Picture this: you have a lingering misunderstanding with someone that is yet to be resolved. Two of you suddenly find yourselves on the same dinner table sitting across each other. What will the atmosphere in that room be like?
Peter, despite promising not to, had denied Jesus three times. Following his resurrection, Jesus had appeared to his disciples at least on three previous occasions. Nothing was said of Peter’s betrayal. Imagine the tension Peter was feeling. The Lord doesn’t allow Peter’s previous mistake to spoil the dinner. When they are done feasting, he puts Peter out of his misery. He doesn’t even mention the offence but asks Peter about his love: “Do you love me more than these?” The question was asked thrice.
Repetition is for emphasis. You and I may have focused on the quarrel. Not the Lord. When the love was affirmed, he gave him a commission to feed his lambs and sheep, essentially the young and the old.
Whereas Peter might have been expecting rebuke for his disloyalty, Jesus’ emphasis was on restoration and commission.
Let us pray that as we gather for the 2020 conference, God’s emphasis will be explicitly clear to every participant; that our hearts will not be set on one thing and the Lord’s on another.