Summary: Jesus didn’t ask: Simon, how much have you repented? How much did you cry? How much did you pray? How much did you give in the offering? How much did you attend church? How many times did you do good deeds? He asked: Do you agape me? Do you love me uncond
John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
So when they had dined… it wasn’t during the meal that Christ addressed Peter, for the meal was a time of fellowship, a time for friends to talk casually.
When he does confront him… he doesn’t belittle him or speak harshly to him, but with love and compassion, simply asks a question.
Simon, son of Jonas: He doesn’t call him Peter, which means ROCK. For Peter was no longer dependable.
But he reminds Peter of where he came from…
His given name, Simon, son of Jonas.
Lovest thou me more than these?
-Love in the Greek: 1. Eros: erotic love, physical love
2. Phileo: brotherly love, like
3. Agape: an unconditional love
Agape thou me more than these? Do you love me with an unconditional love more than….
1. you love these other disciples?
2. you love these things that you do… fishing
3. your occupation as a fisherman?
Peter responds: Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee
“Love” – phileo.
Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I like thee.
We have a lot of church people in the world that are in the same boat Peter was in at that time.
They LIKE Church.
They LIKE the Pastor
They LIKE the singing… preaching… feeling God
LIKE the miracles… the healings, the touch of God…
And that’s all good… but notice the question that Jesus asked:
He didn’t ask: Simon, how much have you repented?
How much did you cry?
How much did you pray?
How much did you give in the offering?
How much did you attend church?
How many times did you do good deeds?
He asked: Do you agape me? Do you love me unconditionally?
At one time you did.
At one time you claimed that you would never forsake Me.
At one time you bragged that you would follow me to prison, even to death.
Are you still able to make that claim?
Because if you are… then all else will fall into place.
If you really love God like you should, then you won’t have a problem with doing HIS will.
You won’t have a problem with missing church.
You won’t have a problem with not paying your tithes.
… with evangelizing.
You know why marriages end up in divorce?
For the most part, it starts with lack of communication!
Intimacy begins to slack, and after a while, there is no love left at all for each other.
So Christ was not concerned with Peter’s abilities at this time… but rather he was concerned with his RELATIONSHIP.
I’M PREACHING: BE HONEST.
Peter responded: you know Lord I like you.
You see, I believe Peter was being honest with himself.
He learned a very hard lesson, and now could not really
Say that he loved with an agape love, because his actions did not match his words…
But he was getting back to a place where he could eventually say… I agape you.
Even to the point of dying a Martyr.
Patrick Morley, in Man in the Mirror, tells about a group of fishermen who landed in a secluded bay in Alaska and had a great day fishing for salmon. But when they returned to their sea plane, it was aground because of the fluctuating tides. They had no option except to wait until the next morning till the tides came in. But when they took off, they only got a few feet off the ground and then crashed down into the sea. Being aground the day before had punctured one of the pontoons, and it had filled up with water.
The sea plane slowly began to sink. The three men and a 12-year-old son of one of them, Mark, prayed and then jumped into the icy waters to swim to shore. The water was cold, and the riptide was strong, and two of the men reached the shore exhausted. They looked back, and their companion, who was also a strong swimmer, did not swim to shore because his 12-year-old son wasn’t strong enough to make it. They saw that father with his arms around his son being swept out to sea. He chose to die with his son rather than to live without him.
Be Honest. Do you really love Jesus?