I lead a series at youth group a while back titled, "Is Jesus In My Mirror?" I came up with the idea after becoming frustrated with the world and all of the evil that runs rampant in it. The series was centered around something we all do every day...look in the mirror. When we look in the mirror, we always see a reflection of ourselves, but it's not necessarily the reflection we want to see. We can be quick to point out our flaws and we waste time dreaming about how much better we would look if this or that was different instead of praying about who God has created us to be. I challenged myself and our youth group to change perspective when looking in the mirror by posing a simple question. When you look in the mirror, do you see Jesus? A conversation between Jesus and Simon Peter after The Resurrection can help provide some context to your answer.
After Jesus was raised from the dead, he made several appearances to His disciples. Jesus helped His disciples catch a miraculous amount of fish the third time he appeared to them (John 21:14). Not too long after Peter had denied Jesus three times prior to His death, their follow-up conversation is written in John 21:15-17. "When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you 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."
In His undeniably perfect way of delivering a message, Jesus is saying to Peter, "I know you love me, but if you really love me, you gotta know me." If we want to see Jesus in our mirrors, yes we have to love Jesus, but in order to love Jesus, we HAVE to KNOW Jesus. Jesus challenges Peter to feed His lambs and sheep because that's what Jesus does. He also knows that as a true disciple, Peter is equipped and capable. The lamb and sheep of Jesus represent ALL of His people. We can't feed the Lord's sheep by hanging our hats on our differences or by engaging in meaningless political banter. This only gives evil exactly what it wants...attention. In order to hold back the evil in the world, Jesus' disciples (you and I) must clearly know, love, and reflect Him. When we see Jesus in our mirrors, we are the reflection of Christ that evil hates to see.