Feed My Sheep

Read: John 21:15-17

Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” . . . Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” (v. 17 NIV)

Francisco Gomez was a church elder in the mother Tzeltal church of Corralito. He was also a school teacher. The Tzeltal church had grown quickly, but there were still no ordained Tzeltal pastors. Educated and fluent in Spanish, Francisco was the consistory’s choice to become their pastor. But he did not want to give up his teaching position.

One day Francisco left for the city of San Cristobal to pick up his monthly paycheck. Tomas, an illiterate church deacon, accompanied him.

As Tomas followed Francisco on the trail, he said, “God is asking you, Francisco, ‘Do you love me?’” Francisco replied, “Why sure I love God, why do you ask me?” Tomas responded, “God says that if you love him, you must feed his sheep.”

As they continued to walk throughout the day, Tomas repeated this question to Francisco two more times. Each time, Francisco offered the same response, and Tomas countered, “God says that if you love him, you must feed his sheep.”

Shortly after this weekend, Francisco quit teaching and became the first pastor among the Tzeltal Christians, giving himself full-time to the work of feeding his people with the Word of God. —Helen Hofman

As you pray, ask God to show you how to use your voice for him today. Consider where God is asking you to listen to someone else too.

About the Author

Helen Hofman is a retired missionary. She and her husband Sam worked with the Tzeltal and Tojolabal Indians of Chiapas, Mexico for more than forty years. In their work, they helped set up a Bible School to train the Tzeltals, taught in the Bible School, prepared Sunday School materials, textbooks, hymnals and audiovisuals. They also coordinated the translation of the Amatenango Tzeltal New Testament and the revision of the highland Tzeltal Bible.

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