Peter, Do You Love Me? (Rabel)

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METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on June 15, 1976

John 21:15-19, pp. 320-321 of transcript.

21:15So when they had broken their fast, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, 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. 21:16He saith to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Tend my sheep. 21:17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of John, 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. 21:18Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 21:19Now this he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Now, the next incident, again: you remember prior to this Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him three times, and of course Peter denied that and then proceeded to do as Jesus had foretold. But bless his heart, again, what kind of a soul is this? The more you learn of Him the more curious you get about how anybody could be so complete in every detail. He knew that Peter had incurred some kind of karma, you know, denying Him thrice; even if you do not believe in karma, you still can believe that there was some unfinished business in Peter's life experience, and bless His heart, Jesus is here giving Peter an opportunity to square things. Again, this magnificent thoughtfulness as well as teaching.

In John 21:15-17, we read of Peter's denials. Peter says, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." Sure, and God knows all our needs too, but we must make an effort. Jesus knew that, Peter loved Him, but Peter had to make this final effort. "Jesus said unto him, feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young ..." and what faculty does Peter stand for? Faith, the affirmative go-getter. Young is immature, undeveloped - "thou girdest thyself and walkedst whither thou wouldest." Faith, in its early, undeveloped, immature state is the "I want to get my own way attitude. I need to do my thing ... me and mine.” This is characteristic of faith when it is still young, immature, undeveloped; but notice how Jesus carries this on, "but when thou shalt be old;" in other words, when our faith-expression becomes mature and developed and properly aligned with its other faculties ... "thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. Now this he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God." In other words, the death of immaturity, the death of “my own way is the only way, the death of that attitude is the kind of death that glorifies God."

Then for faith to be willing to be utilized and carried into places where we might not personally desired the involvement but we are able to do it willingly when we are mature because we know it is going to be all right and good. Faith in its maturity knows why it affirms, which is different from knowing how to affirm. Any jerk can learn how to affirm; "how to" instructions are for kids, those who are immature. Adult instruction, mature instruction is not a bunch of “how to’s” but why, what is the meaning, what is the reason, what are the principles, not “how do you do it?” but why do you do what you know how to do. How is the principle served? How is the cosmos benefitted, not how do you get your own way in all things, think and grow rich; but why should I be rich? What is the divine idea that I share through prosperity, not how do I get it. Am I saying that how do I get it is wrong instruction? No, it is beginning instruction. It is for the young. For the old, a different kind of instruction is needed, so the kind of death that glorifies God is simply the death of limitation.

Text of the original transcript at the last paragraph of p.320 through the 2nd paragraph of p.321.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-16-2014