There is a wonderful elderly man we know at the nursing home, and we love him dearly. We have known him for close to ten years, but I’m afraid he won’t live much longer. The biggest problem seems to be that he doesn’t eat and therefore is wasting away. I don’t see how such a thin person can continue to lose weight. The food seems to be good there, but I’m told he just sits in front of his food, picks at it for a while, and then quits. He will die without nourishment.
I recently had a very engaging discussion for about an hour with a young man in his early teens. He was strongly opinionated, and I was enjoying asking him questions in trying to understand what the basis was for the decisions he was making. He was intelligent and articulate, and yet there was a major disconnect in his reasoning. I then asked him about personal and family devotions. He said he was having personal time with the Lord, but his family didn’t have a time when they would look at Scripture together. After hearing himself say that and realizing how that appeared, he thought for a moment and said, “Well, I guess I’d have to say, that our family devotion is sort of all day. It is the way we live.”
Have you ever thought about the fact that God did not have to make our bodies to need food? God could have easily created us never to require food, but He had a purpose in it. “Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3). We require continued sustenance to keep our focus on our Provider.
The reality of physical food is used by the Lord to teach us about our need for spiritual food. In John 21:15-18 we read, “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. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” Jesus was not talking about Simon Peter physically feeding sheep but rather spiritually feeding the flock.
Notice how Jesus related Peter’s love for Christ with Peter’s feeding those for which he would soon be responsible. Peter would soon be leader of the church in Jerusalem, and if Peter loved Jesus, Peter was to feed them spiritually. If Peter loved the Lord, he could demonstrate that love by feeding the flock. In asking the question three times with slight variations, Jesus was making His point very clear. “Peter, if you love Me, you will feed My sheep.” That is true of us dads as well, if we love the Lord Jesus, we will spiritually feed those He has entrusted to our care.
In John 10:3-4 we read, “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.