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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Oct. 18, 2007

  • 2007 Oct 18
  • COMMENTS
 

Peter—Do You Love Me?

 

Lessons in Loving Jesus…"Do you love Me?” 

Those are the words of Christ we need to examine this morning. They are found in John 21:16. Please turn there with me this morning.  

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? Let me remind you of them again. 

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?  

That is why Jesus asks, “Peter do you love Me?” 

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?” 

That love Christ seeks is what brought Him to find and fix these aimless men.  

Look at John 21 this morning and join me as we read and learn lessons from Jesus on how to be sure that we love Him! 

On a tranquil beach at the break of day, not far from where Christ's ministry began—Jesus met Peter and six of the disciples, transformed their hearts, refocused their lives and pointed them in a new direction serving Him—all by giving them lessons in loving Jesus.  

If you want to love God more, serve Him more completely, and please Him you"re your life—this is the chapter to come to. Welcome to Peter's final lesson, as Christ restores him back to ministry. 

In a real sense those seven Jesus met on the shore,  represent all of us here this morning, whoever we are, wherever we are going or have been—Jesus wants to restart and redirect our lives into love prompted obedience.  

Jesus spoke to them two thousand years ago, but through His Word, He is also speaking to us today. 

Jesus begins His lessons by showing up on the shore and ask a question to reveal their current condition (getting nothing from all their hard work all night long); then He gives them a command (throw the net now at My word); then He wants to minister to them as their obedience reveals who He is and what He can do with their lives (fish fill empty nets). 

PETER"S FINAL LESSON IS FOR US ALSO 

Obedience prompted by love is what Christ came to teach. Unseen on the shore, Jesus waited for them to realize how empty and fruitless it is to step away from following Jesus. It is very hard to follow Jesus. Paul called it agonizing, and so it was. But hard as it is to follow Jesus, it is far worse to not do so! The first lesson of obedience prompted love that morning was— 

1. Jesus wanted them to know they couldn't do anything on their own (vv. 1-3). “… and that night they caught nothing.” 

All night long the disciples had cast the net, waited, drew the net back, pulled it in soaking their clothes, and finding each time—nothing.  

Nothing.  

That is how it can be in our jobs, our homes, our careers and our hearts when we take our lives back from Christ's hands and take the reins into our hands. Our work is empty, our relationships are empty, our accomplishments don"t cheer us, and our past track record no longer encourages us. We dip the nets of life as we always have and each time they come up empty. 

Remember that we only have two choices each day—pleasing God, or our self. 

Jesus wanted these men to feel the emptiness of life lived in the energy of the flesh. So the little boat was drifting aimlessly, the men were sitting stiffly. They were wet, cold and sore as the first light of dawn began to rise over the hills of Galilee.  

Jesus continues this final lesson for Peter and the disciples with a question crossing 100 yards of water and reaching those seven men in the boat. That leads to the second lesson on love— 

2. Jesus wanted them to know He won’t bless anything done apart from Him (vv. 4-5).  John 21:4-5 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” 

Have you caught any fish? Looking up in the dim light and through the mists of the lake they could see a lone figure on the shore. The answer was the obvious; but it was also a reminder of the emptiness of their nets and of their lives at that moment.  

Ministry that is self-prompted, self-directed, self-energized, and self-satisfied will always come up empty of eternal value and lead to emptiness of the soul.  

“No” [nothing has come of all our efforts all night long]—that was the answer Christ wanted to hear. So, He initiates the third love lesson— 

This lesson will continue tomorrow October 19th when we start by looking at item 3. Jesus wanted them to learn to follow His directions for their lives.

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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