Do You Love Me?

     John 21:15  …Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?

The third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead, He called His men together and fed them fish and bread.  I was wondering if He did so to remind them of the thousands He had fed in the past.  After they had eaten, Jesus said to Peter, do you love Me more than these?  The word for love that Jesus used was “Agapao” the ardent, supreme and perfect love.

 Peter responded Yes, Lord You know that I love You—the word for love that Peter used was “Phileo” which means to be fond of, to feel friendship for another.  Jesus said fed my lambs, was Jesus referring to new believers and those who needed extra attention? 

Again, Jesus asked Peter: Do you love (agapao) me?  Peter again said yes Lord You know I (phileo) You.  Jesus replied feed my sheep referring to the more mature believers. Then Jesus asked again do you love phileo Me? Peter replied Lord You know all things. 

When I read this, two things come to mind.  The first is that even though we may not be in a place where we have the capacity to love God with all passion and fervor, He will take the kind of love we can give to Him and use it for His purpose.  The second thing is could it be that Peter learned a lesson from being the one that boasted and bragged that he would never leave Jesus, never betray or deny Him, but when that love was put to the test, he did exactly that.  Not once, but three times.

Matthew 31:33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

What a wonderful example of the redemptive power God.  Peter was always missing it, always eager to please, jumping out of boats to walk on water; pulling out a sword and cutting off an ear.  He so wanted to be what God wanted him to be, but he kept getting in his own way and tripping up falling, and failing.  What his heart wanted to attain; his character couldn’t take him over the finish line. 

Sometimes our greatest ministry comes out of our deepest failures.  The times we “thought” we had totally messed up brings us our greatest message. When we throw ourselves on God’s mercy, He is faithful to forgive, and restore.  By His grace all of us are living, breathing examples of how God uses the foolish things to confound the wise.  Most of us would never be accepted anywhere else, but think about this, we are called to sit with Him in heavenly places—the place where we can see from His Perspective and His vantage point.  The place where we hear His voice and find out His will for our lives.  WOW

Acts 5:15-16 So that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.  Also, a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

God used Peter as an example of restoration, and reconciliation there is hope for all who have lost that fervor, that said one thing, and did another. The Lord doesn’t hold our past against us, He does not want any to perish, His arms are open to welcome all-- no exclusivity, no wokeness, no cancel culture.  We are invited to become partakers in God’s Kingdom ministry by four little words: “DO YOU LOVE ME? “



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