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Aaron Goes to the Lake

Aaron sees Jesus

Application:

Children of God are loved, guided, and cared for by Jesus.

Introduction:

Although complete in itself, this story is preceded by - "Aaron at Calvary".

Click here for "Aaron at Calvary"

Text:

John 21:15, "Do you truly love Me more than these?"

 

A Sad Boy!

Aaron had been so sad during the past week.  He had seen the Master die on a cruel Roman cross.  Every night he had had nightmares and would wake up screaming, "No! No!"  His parents were very concerned about him and now his father had come up with the perfect idea to cheer him up.

"Aaron," called Father, "You have been so sad ever since the Teacher died.  I want you to pack some clothes in a bag for a trip.  I'm taking the sheep flock down to the lake and you are now old enough to help me."

Off to the Lake!

"To the lake!" thought Aaron, and his face immediately lit up.  His father felt relief as he began to smile.  "Just wait till I tell my friends about this!" thought Aaron as he hurriedly packed his clothes.  His heart swelled with pride at how jealous they were going to be.  When he was finished, he ran off to tell his friends.  What long faces they pulled when they heard Aaron boasting about how he was going to drive the sheep all the way to the lake all by himself!

As the sun set, Aaron skipped home almost bursting with joy at the thought of how he had made his friends jealous.  As he passed a willow tree, he broke off a long branch.  He swished it about imagining how he would crack it like a whip as he herded the sheep.  "Faster, come on faster!" he shouted, nearly scaring their next door neighbour out of her wits.   "Sorry," he called as he ran into his house.

How Not to be a Shepherd!

Early the next day, he waved goodbye to his mother.  With his head high he walked down the road with a stick in his hand.  As he passed his friends, he pretended not to see them.  You would have thought that he was the most important person in the world as he puffed out his chest and strutted along like a chicken that had just laid an enormous egg!

His friends followed and watched as Aaron's father released the sheep from the pen and they crowded into the street.  "Why don't you drive the sheep," said his father, and hid a smile for he had seen how Aaron had pretended not to see his friends.  "Gladly, Father," answered Aaron in a grand manner.  He wacked the nearest sheep over the rump and shouted, "Move along there, sheep!  We are going to the lake!"

To his horror, the sheep began to mill around and race off in all directions.  Aaron ran around shouting, "Sheep, she-eep, sh-e-e-eep!" as he tried to gather together all the sheep.  He grew red in the face as his friends rolled helplessly on the ground laughing at Aaron until their tummies hurt.  He angrily marched up to his grinning father and shouted, "These stupid sheep of yours won't listen to me!"

Sheep Trust the Shepherd:

"Son," said his father gently, "You cannot drive sheep by hitting them!   You have to call them and then they will follow you.  Now, watch as I call them."  His father began to call the sheep by name.  The sheep came running back to him and followed him as he walked down the road.  "You see, my sheep know my voice, and they will follow me since they trust me."

A shamefaced Aaron muttered, "I wish I had known that before I made a fool of myself before my friends!"  His father laughed, "Never mind, you did rather ask for it - strutting around like a peacock in front of your friends!  Anyway, by the time we get back you will be able to call the sheep and they will follow you.  Just like they follow me."

Aaron Calls the Sheep:

As they moved out into the countryside, Aaron brightened up and began to call the sheep.  To his delight they soon began to listen to him and he laughed as some of the lambs gambolled around his feet nearly tripping him up.  A few days later, Aaron cheered as they came over the top of a hill, and there before them lay the waters of the lake shining brightly in the sun.

He helped his father lead the sheep to a spot where there was plenty of good grass for the sheep to graze.  "Go and explore," said his father and Aaron ran happily down to the waters-edge.  "I wish I had a long branch and some string," he thought, "I'm sure there are lots of fish just waiting to be caught!"

It's the Master!

To his amazement, he caught the delicious smell of fish baking over a fire.  "Someone is cooking fish!" he exclaimed, "Perhaps they will share some with me."  Looking around he saw a figure bending over a fire.   Aaron ran up to the stranger and said, "Hey, Mister!  Can I have..."

Aaron stopped and looked in amazement.  Could it be?  No, it couldn't be ... He's dead and they laid Him in that cave and rolled that massive stone in front of the opening.  But it was, and Aaron's heart swelled with joy as a pair of kindly eyes gazed down at him.  "It's You, and You're alive!" he cried and ran and threw his arms around Jesus.

Fish for Breakfast!

Joyfully Aaron looked at all the fish baking over the fire.  "Who's all this fish and bread for?" he asked.  Jesus looked out onto the lake and Aaron saw a fishing boat approaching the shore where they were standing.  Just then Jesus called out, "Friends, have you any fish?"  "No," came the answer.  "Then throw your net over the right side of the boat and you will find some," said Jesus.

They did so and Aaron's eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw a mass of silvery fish wriggling and jumping as they pulled the net into the boat.  One of the men in the boat shouted, "It is the Lord."  At this, a big man stood up and dived into the water.  He swam towards them, but seemed to swim slower and slower the closer he came to the shore.

He eventually climbed out of the water with downcast eyes.  Jesus spoke kindly to him, "Bring some of the fish that you have caught." Aaron watched as the big man helped his partners bring ashore one hundred and fifty three large fishes.  Aaron counted them himself.  And then what a feast they had as Jesus invited the men to breakfast.

Jesus Restores Peter:

When they had finished eating, Aaron sat there feeling content.  Jesus looked up and spoke to Simon Peter, "Simon, Son of John, do you truly love Me more than these?"  Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, You know that I am fond of You."  Jesus then said, "Feed My lambs."  At the same time He looked straight at Aaron.

Aaron wondered what this meant as Jesus again asked, "Simon, Son of John, do you truly love Me?"  Peter again answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I am fond of You."  Jesus said, "Take care of My sheep."

Peter looked hurt when Jesus asked him a third time, "Simon, Son of John, are you fond of Me?"  Peter answered softly, "Lord, you know all things.  You know that I love You."  Tears ran down Peter's face as Jesus smiled lovingly at him and said, "Then feed My sheep!"

Aaron was thrilled as he watched Peter's eyes light up when he realised that Jesus had forgiven him for denying Him three times in the garden.   Later that day, Aaron took his new friend Peter to meet his father.   He learned that Peter lived fairly close to their home, and Aaron was to learn much from Peter, but that is another story.

Following Jesus:

As Aaron and his father led the sheep home, Aaron asked, "Why did Jesus keep on asking Peter if he loved Him?" His father thought for a moment, "Because He is returning to Heaven and He wants Peter to become a shepherd to those that love Jesus."  As they entered their street he said, "Father, you love our sheep, don't you?"  His father smiled and said, "Yes, that's why they follow me because I protect and feed them.  Why do you ask that?"

Aaron replied, "Now I know what Jesus meant when he questioned Peter.  He is our Good Shepherd like you, and He has made Peter into an under shepherd like me.  Jesus is my best Friend and Saviour."  Aaron's father answered, "You are right!  Jesus is our Good Shepherd."

"And now it's Peter's job to take care of me and all the people and children that love Jesus, just as it is now going to be my job to look after our sheep!" exclaimed Aaron.  "Yes Son," said his father, "You have really learnt something good while we have been away."

Outr Good Shepherd:

As they arrived home, Aaron opened the gate to the sheep pen and the sheep poured in.  He closed the gate and watched as the flock laid down contentedly in their favourite places.  Just then his friends came running up.  "Father," called Aaron, "I'm not going to boast about how good a shepherd I am to my friends.  I'm going to tell them all about Jesus, and that He is my Saviour and Friend and that He wants to be their's as well."

His father proudly watched Aaron as he ran off to play with his friends.   He just caught part of what Aaron was telling them, "And you should have seen the Good Shepherd cooking all those huge fish..."

And you dear child, do you know Jesus as your Good Shepherd?  He wants to be your best Friend and Saviour.  Are you willing to let Him into your heart to guide you, care for you and protect you each day?

God bless!
 

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