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April 11, 2018, 7:29 AM

Do You Love Me?



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ (John 21:15a)

What do you do when you’ve blown it? Simon Peter had been so proud when he boasted that he would never betray the Lord (Matt. 26:31-35), but Peter’s pride inevitably turned to shame: he did betray Jesus. For several days Peter’s disappointment in himself had been playing over and over in his mind. How he wished he could go back in time!

So, what do you do when you’ve failed? Do you find something to occupy yourself, to take your mind off your failure? That’s what Peter and a half-dozen other disciples did – they went fishing. All night they fished . . . with absolutely zero success. At morning light they heard a familiar voice from the nearby shore: “Throw your net on the right of the boat and you will find some” (21:6). They did – and they did! Peter, always the impulsive one, didn’t wait for the others. He plunged into the sea, swam to shore, and saw the crucified and risen Lord . . . alive! Together they had breakfast on the beach. Jesus looked at him and asked, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love Me more than these?” (v. 15).

How one answers this question is most important issue of life. For Simon Peter, this day marked a new beginning. Coming to grips with this question enabled him to realize his potential, which he had lost sight of after his devastating failure, after he had denied knowing his Savior. This question enabled Peter to recognize anew his purpose and to realign his priorities. A fresh encounter with the Lord Jesus will bring a new beginning to any of us who come face-to-face with the question, “Do you love Me more than these?” It is never too late for a new beginning. Just ask Simon Peter.

The bottom line for Peter – and for us – is whether we truly love the Lord Jesus. He still asks us today, “Do you love Me?” After all, as Jesus stated in the Great Commandment, loving the Lord Jesus is our primary purpose in life (Matt. 22:37-38). But what strikes me about this encounter between the Lord and His sometimes follower is not just what Jesus said, but what He didn’t say. He didn’t say to Peter, “Some friend you turned out to be. I had you figured all wrong. You are just all talk. You failed. You let Me down after boasting so often and so loudly about how faithful you would be at the crisis hour.” No, Jesus looked at Peter and simply asked, “Do you love Me?” Three times in rapid succession, He asked to same question. He was giving Peter three opportunities to counter his three denials that he even knew Jesus, statements he had proclaimed at dawn a few days earlier. It was a new day!

Loving Jesus is our primary purpose and doing so affects all other issues in life for our good and His glory. Fresh encounters with the living Christ will enable us not simply to realize the potential that is locked within us, but also to recognize afresh and anew our primary purpose in life. It is never too late for a new beginning! The Lord is still waiting on the shore. Do you truly love Him?

Let us join in prayer: Loving Father, take my lips and speak through them; take my mind, and think through it; take my heart, and set it on fire. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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