JOHN 21:15–19 – When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” “
THEME OF THE DAY: THE CHRISTIAN’S CRISIS MOMENTS. In today’s scripture, I call this a “crisis moment” in Peter’s life which will also be a “crisis moment” in our lives and that repeated over and over till we get to heaven. It comes from the penetrating and exposing question Jesus put before Peter after breakfast – “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”
There is debate to what or who the term “these” means in Jesus’ questioning of Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” Is it his former life of boats, nets and fishing; a former life when he knew success, not failure like he feels now being a follower of Jesus? Or are “these” a pointing to the other disciples who were present? Regardless, the point Jesus is making to Peter is the priority of love for Him over everything and anyone else in life. As this is a crisis moment for Peter, it will be for us.
Peter hears the question, not once, twice, but three times. In the repetition, he gets discouraged. He knows he doesn’t love Jesus as He deserves. He knows he has failed to love Jesus courageously and without compromise. Jesus knows this too! But Peter also knows he does love Jesus and truly wants to love Him more and that supremely. And Jesus knows this too!
After the third repetition of the question, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”, Peter makes the all-important statement that ensures he passes his crisis moment in his relationship with the Lord Jesus. He replies, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” This confession acknowledges that Peter is real in his love for Christ. Yes, it is weak. Yes, it is faulty. Yes, it will grow, but one thing is certain in Peter’s words; he puts no other person, pursuit or passion ahead of his affection for Christ. And yes, Jesus knew that as well!
When it comes to our “crisis moments” with Jesus, we too, will be asked daily, “Do you love me more than these?” and the “these” in our lives will be anything in this world from material things to earthly pleasures to achievements to human relationships that compete for or rank higher than our affections for Jesus.
So, when those “crisis moments” come, and they will, challenging our affections for Christ, may we be able to say before the Lord with sincerity and confidence, “Yes, Lord, you know I love You more than these, more than all these.”
PRAYER: “Father, help me to say with sincerity that there is nothing or no one I place above Your Son in my life.”
QUOTE: “Every Christian will go through repeated moments of ‘crisis’ when Jesus confronts us about our love for Him.”
Because of Him,