…Feed My Sheep (John 21:17 NKJ)
It’s interesting to note that John recorded the intimate discourse between Jesus and Peter when the “Feed My sheep” quotation was spoken, but Mark did not. Supposedly, Mark received most of his information from Peter; and yet, Peter must have chosen to remain silent about this particular conversation.
Now, wouldn’t you think one of the apostles chosen as the foundation for the church would have mentioned such an important quotation as this? After all, it provides the basis for which all of our modern American traditional churches revolve around: the pastor’s sermon.
Yet, Peter does eventually provide insight into the “Feed My sheep” theme.
Shepherd [or Feed in the King James Version]the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5: 2-3 NKJ)
When did Peter first hear about not being a lord over believers and being an example to them instead? It was on one of those days when the disciples were arguing over which of them should be considered the greatest.
But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet, it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10: 42-45 NKJ)
Maybe you’re thinking, “So what?”
But once again, you have to take off your rose-colored glasses and ask some interesting questions, like: How can there possibly be a separation between clergy and laity if no believer is supposed to lord – or exercise authority – over other believers? Isn’t that exactly what clergy are supposed to do?
And how can the modern pastor be an example to a congregation when he (or she) is standing behind a pulpit preaching a sermon and the passive believers can not do likewise? Or should all the pews be removed and everyone be allowed to have their own pulpit to stand behind, awaiting a turn to speak?
Doesn’t it seem that our traditional church system consisting of clergy, laity and sermons falls apart when it is lined up with scriptures?
(Continued in Part 18.)