Peter Do You Love Me?
"Do you love Me?"
Those are the words of Christ we need to examine today. They are found in John 21:16.
Jesus focused on just one point in His meeting with Peter—Peter do you love Me? That was the point about which Jesus wanted a response from his special servant that morning.
Jesus had simplified the life of His disciples seven chapters earlier, on the way to Gethsemane. He had uttered those priceless words where He said that if they loved Him they would obey Him. Do you remember His final words about love in John 14?
John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
That is why Jesus asks, "Peter do you love Me?" In fact, if you think about it carefully, Jesus is asking all of us the same question each day. He watches us toiling through life and reaches down and whispers in our ears, "Do you LOVE ME?"
Jesus says if you have and keep my words (commands) then you love Me and you will get the full access to all that God wants to be in your life.
After Christ's ascension to Heaven, He sends a letter through John the last Apostle as recorded in Revelation 2-3. It is in that first letter to the Church at Ephesus then (and us today) Jesus asked the believers why they had cooled in their love for Him.
Jesus is asking, why have you stepped back, let up, and drifted away from loving me supremely? Why am I second-rate?
Our whole responsibility to God was once reduced by Jesus to love! Remember the greatest commandment question and Christ's answer (loving God and our neighbor)?
Further, God's Word says that without love all we do is nothingness God says (John 15 and I Corinthians 13). Love for God focuses our lives. Love prompted obedience enriches us immeasurably for eternity. So Peter then, and each of us today need to hear and respond to Christ's question, "Do you LOVE ME?"
The question for Peter is also for all of us, do we really love Jesus. We may serve, we may speak, and we may study—but without love, it amounts to nothing.
Each one of us at some point in our lives, will miserably fail the Lord by yielding to some temptation and sin. Soon after that sin we will hear (in one way or another) "the crowing of the cock."
At that instant the accusing voice of Satan will ring in our minds, telling us that we are finished, we are useless, pleasing God is hopeless, and our future has been destroyed.
But that is never God's message to us. As Peter learned, so we need to know. Our God is a forgiving God, a compassionate God, a God who loves us no matter what we have done.
Every time we open to the Gospel by Mark we remember that in one way or another, all of us too have stumbled. And for each of us, Peter's triumph by God's grace is an incredible source of encouragement to trust in our God of the new beginning—and offer to Him our obedience prompted by love!
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