Food has become a preoccupation in our culture. If you're not convinced that's the case, just look at all the pictures of food that people post on social media.
Today I want to look at food and spiritual nutrition from the vantage point of being one of God's sheep in His flock. So let's dive into three fundamental truths about spiritual nutrition found in John 21:
1. Flocks are principle. To Jesus Christ, His lambs are of utmost importance. Three times in His conversation with Simon Peter in this chapter, He essentially said, "Take care of My sheep" (see vv. 15-17). Jesus cares deeply for His people, whom He often referred to as His sheep. From a biblical perspective, to be called a sheep is not flattering. Sheep are weak, timid, and can't survive without a shepherd. But Jesus is our Good Shepherd (see John 10:11). He laid down His life for us and is committed to us in love.
2. Food is essential. If Jesus told a guy three times to feed His sheep, He must want His sheep to be fed, right? God's principal concern for spiritual leaders, who are also known as shepherds, is to feed the flock good food by preparing spiritual meals through the exposition of Scripture (see Jeremiah 3:15; 23:4; Ezekiel 34:2; Acts 20:28; 2 Timothy 4:2). And I've discovered that God's flock wants good food. They don't want to hear someone's opinion; they want to hear what the Word of God has to say about issues in their life.
3. Feeders are vulnerable. At this point in the story, Peter was a failed leader. He had publicly denied Jesus three times. So Jesus publicly restored Peter and allowed him to affirm Jesus three times. After this, Peter became an incredible leader in the early church, but he still struggled with things like legalism and hypocrisy. Even though he was a great shepherd, he was still a sheep. The same goes for all leaders, pastors, and Bible study teachers. Anyone in a position of spiritual leadership is a sheep, too. So pray for your feeders, because they're a particularly vulnerable target for Satan.
Ask yourself this in closing: As a sheep in God's flock, what are you feeding on in your life—spiritual junk food or spiritual health food? What would your spiritual meals look like if you posted them on social media? What do you listen to, watch, read, and study?
My hope is that your spiritual appetite wouldn't be dulled by the poison that's everywhere but that you would get off that junk food and get healthy. It's difficult to swim in a cultural sewer and have any kind of sanity and spirituality, but by the power of the Holy Spirit living in you, it is possible. I pray that your spiritual appetite would increase and that you would continually "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).