DO we LOVE ANYTHING/ANYBODY MORE than JESUS?
November 5 Bible Reading: John Chapters 19-21
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" (John 21:15)
In this passage, the underlying lesson is that love for Jesus is the only acceptable motive for serving Him. Just as Peter had denied the Lord thrice, so he was given three opportunities to confess Him. The most important thing in ministry is to love Jesus totally - for all ministries flows out from that love!
This intimate interview was probably conducted within the hearing of the other six disciples. Peter had publicly professed his loyalty before the Crucifixion and Jesus wants the other disciples to understand Peter’s restoration. The point of the entire dialogue is to question not the extent of Peter’s love for the Master, but the nature of his love. Jesus wanted to impress upon Peter the diverse responsibilities (“feed” and “tend”) and the tenderness (for “sheep” and “lambs”) demanded by his love for Jesus. It is possible to construe the question posed by Jesus in several ways: “Do you love Me more than these others love Me?”; “Do you love Me more than you love these others?”; and “Do you love Me more than you love these nets and fish?”
Never rebuking Peter for his replies, Jesus repeatedly commissioned him for the pastoral ministry of God’s people. The grace of God had recovered a fallen disciple, one who was later greatly used by God to win many people to Christ (Acts 2–5; 10–11) and who later wrote two general epistles. When Peter wrote to his fellow elders (1 Pet. 5:1, 2), he urged them to “shepherd the flock of God” apparently having taken to heart the words of Jesus, and called Jesus the “Chief Shepherd” (1 Pet. 5:4).
As we meditate on the three repeated questions that Jesus asked Peter after His resurrection, we need to ask ourselves this question: “What do I love more than Jesus?” It may be something innocent or harmless or something seemingly good like food, hobbies, work, etc. We need to realize that Jesus demands our first love over everything else. Let us be careful to love Jesus more than anything or anyone in our lives!