John 21:15-24, 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. 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. 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. 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. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 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? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
This question, “Do You Love Me?” which Jesus asked Peter still echoes through the ages. Jesus didn’t simply ask Peter if he loved Him once, but three times. And, in front of the other disciples. Can you imagine?
God had a specific purpose for Peter’s life. He had a path for Peter to take. By the way, Jesus has a purpose for your life and mine. He has a path for us to take too. Peter was called to be a fisher of men (Matthew 4:18-22). He was called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, beginning in Jerusalem (Acts 1:8). Yet, Peter allowed his fears to overwhelm and overcome him. He denied Christ and went back to fishing, not for men, but for fish.
Now, was the moment of truth, Jesus was calling Peter back to Himself and to His calling.
If you have been saved and serving Jesus for any length of time and if you’re anything like me, you know how easy it is to take our eyes off of Jesus, get caught up with the things of this world, and forget our high calling in Christ.
If we listen carefully, we too will hear Jesus asking, “DO YOU LOVE ME?” It’s easy to say we LOVE JESUS, but if we truly do LOVE HIM, we will FOLLOW WHEREVER HE LEADS and OBEY WHATEVER HE DEEDS, regardless of our present circumstances and the future consequences!
Let’s not sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus,” unless we really mean it!
As one author noted, “My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus’ words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him. ”
O Lord, help us to love You with every fiber of our being and demonstrate that love for You by our obedience—not only in that which is comfortable and convenient for us, but all that is commanded by You!