John 21:15-22,15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
In the familiar passage above, we find Peter-who in the midst of his discouragement and despair had drifted away from his commitment to follow Jesus-being asked three times by the Lord, “DO YOU LOVE ME?”
Is not this the crucial question for us today and every day?
Like the church at Ephesus, we can BELIEVE all the right things, we can DO all the right things, and we can even STAND for all the right things, and yet have LEFT OUR FIRST LOVE (REV 2:1-7).
Like Martha of old, if we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves busy doing GOOD STUFF and leave out the GOD STUFF, spending time sitting at the feet of Jesus (LK 10:38-42)!
And, if we love Jesus, we will find ourselves feeding others and following Him, far more than fishing with our buddies! :^)
Revelation 2:4-5, Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Every once in a while we need to hear Jesus’ question to us, “DO YOU LOVE ME?”