“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15 NIV)
After Jesus rose from the grave, His visited His disciples while they were fishing and asked them for something to eat. They didn’t realize who was speaking to them, until they obeyed His direction for hauling in an abundance of fish, when they had until that point, caught nothing. When they had finished eating, Jesus asked Peter this question, not because He didn’t know where Peter’s heart was regarding Him, but to give Peter something to think about–reflecting for his own good.
There is much to be said about the three questions asked of Peter, but I simply want to focus on this one. I hear Him asking us today, “Do we love Him more than the people around us?”
Love–that four letter word–has caused more challenges in life for so many people simply because most people do not realize what the word really means:
L–lifelong commitment to serve and consider others before self.
O–obligation to protect the object of one’s affection, even if means sacrificing self in the process.
V–virtually becoming one with the object of affection in purpose and intent in living life.
E–estranging oneself from everything and everyone who would jeopardize the relationship between you and the object of your affection.
When we truly love someone, our hearts are so involved with consideration for them, that we only see how we can best serve them. That affection does not end with separation–physically or spiritually–we continue to love those we truly love and that love has no lustful connotation. Parents who model themselves after God, love their children no matter what they do, but that love also involves correction and instruction and punishment, if necessary. Children who love their parents, obey them in all of the ways that glorify God and love them long after they die. Siblings, when raised in a loving home, love forever and do all they can to support and assist one another. Spouses should love one another past difference of opinions and seek a balance, compromising for the benefit of the relationship, not the individual.
And now, we get to God’s kind of love–His Love for us, our love for God, and our love for one another.
The love of God towards us is amazing and cannot be superseded by any other. No one has ever loved anyone enough to die for the masses like God. No one ever will because there is no other death that could accomplish what His hanging on the cross could accomplish. That’s His love for us. Our love for Him should be an act of obedience to all He has said–Love Him with all our hearts and minds and then to love one another.
When we love one another–whether we have ever met–physically or not–we are able to pray–interceding on behalf of people we don’t know as well as those we do know. We are able to pray for God’s best in the lives of Believers everywhere and we teach God’s Word–whether it is convenient or not, whether people want to hear it or not (or read or not), but we do so because the love of God has filled us to overflowing and our desire is see everyone saved, having eternal life with Jesus.
When Jesus asked Peter the question, “Do you love me?” Peter became frustrated because he believed that Jesus knew how he felt about Him. He did know, but Jesus wanted Peter to really know–no doubting–about his love for Him because of the hardships he would endure in serving Him.
When I look at the direction of the world today–calling right wrong and wrong right, I ask myself, “Do we really love God the way we say we do?” Living in opposition to God’s Word demonstrates a lack of understanding what His love really means and certainly shows we don’t love Him, if we’re not willing to obey Him.
Unless God speaks to my heart and tells me differently, this is my final composition on the “Why Jesus Said” series. I pray that something has been said to cause deep reflection about who Jesus is and why He came. I pray that those who never thought about “love” in the purest sense of the word, understand just how much God loves us. I pray that we will love Him enough to obey Him, promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, serving the needs of others, and preparing all to spend eternity with Jesus. I pray that all will experience God for themselves and know Him and allow Him to reveal the truth of His Word to them. I pray for all Believers everywhere–those who are persecuted and those who are not–stay strong in The Lord–for eternity is assured and those who are responsible for interfering in God’s plan, will suffer their due consequence–the lake of fire has been prepared and God knows those who are His and those who are simply offering lip service.
Thank you for reading and encouraging me during this time. I encourage all to seek what some others are saying about The Word and there are many online who expound with greater clarity and depth. They do what God speaks to them and I do what God puts upon my heart to do. In the end, we shall meet in Heaven and celebrate our love for God and our willingness to obey God, loving one another in the here-and-now, encouraging all to obey Him.
Do you really love God?