Summary: Jesus asks Peter if he REALLY, REALLY loves Him, but all Peter can say is that he is very fond of Jesus; the pivotal question in our life that Jesus asks is "Do you love Me?" and "How much?".
“Do You Really, Really Love Jesus?”
We continue in our series on the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.
INTRODUCTION: (My thanks to Tom Lawson for the introduction idea)
I love my wife, Harriet … Do you believe that I love her?
o There are times that I don’t enjoy being with her … but I love her.
o There are times that I don’t want to talk to her … but I love her.
o I might go for days without talking to her … but I love her.
o When I DO talk to her, it’s usually because I want to ask her for something … or maybe for a few seconds before each meal … but I love her.
o When I do talk to her, I find my mind wandering, thinking about other things … but I love her.
o She’s not a part of my everyday life … I think about her more on Sunday mornings than any other time of the week.
o I meet with other husbands, and we sing songs about our wives … I’ll even talk publicly to the rest of the husbands for about 30 minutes about how much I love her.
o She writes me love letters … but I don’t read them very often … but I love my wife.
o I give her a little pocket change every week … as long as it doesn’t cut too deeply into how much I want to spend on myself … but I love my wife.
o I just don’t care to have very much to do with her … and make her a part of my life.
o BUT … I love my wife.
NOW … how many of you, from what I have just said, would say that I love my wife?
Let’s TRANSLATE that into our relationship with the Lord Jesus.
After all, we are called the “bride of Christ”, aren’t we?
We SAY that we love Jesus … it’s EASY to SAY, isn’t it?
BUT … if we treated our WIVES like we treat Jesus … we wouldn’t be married very long, would we?
OR … if we were married, it wouldn’t be a very HAPPY marriage, would it?
TEXT – Jesus had just met His Disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (last Sun. AM message).
They had fished all night & caught nothing … Jesus told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat.
When they did, they caught all the fish they could handle.
Jesus met them on the shore and had breakfast ready for them.
After breakfast, Jesus confronts Peter publicly before the rest of the Disciples.
READ TEXT – John 21:15-17
NOTICE what Jesus asks Peter 3 times … “Do you love Me?”
WHY 3 TIMES?
When Peter was confronted with the opportunity to demonstrate his love for Jesus, he denied knowing Jesus 3 times.
A 3-fold denial demanded a 3-fold confession.
It was around a fire of coals that Peter denied Jesus 3 times and lost his ministry.
It is now around a fire of coals that Jesus restores Peter to the ministry.
Let’s think about how Peter must have felt during these few weeks after denying Jesus.
The night before Jesus was crucified Peter told Jesus (Mt. 26:33) – “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”
John 13:37 says that on that same night Peter said to Jesus – “I am ready to die for You.”
Peter loved Jesus … he had no intention of letting Jesus down.
This is the same Peter that walked on water to get to where Jesus was.
The same Peter who said (Mk. 10:28) – “Lo, we have left all, and have followed Thee.”
The same Peter who cut off the ear of the servant of the High Priest to defend Jesus.
The same Peter who followed Jesus into the courtyard (where were the other Disciples?).
The same Peter who dove into the water to be the 1st to meet Jesus on shore (21:7).
Peter LOVED Jesus … BUT … Peter had also FAILED Jesus.
Right now, that’s all that was on Peter’s mind.
“What must Jesus think of me? Will Jesus ever forgive me? I really blew it! I’m a total failure!”
HAVE YOU EVER FELT THIS WAY?
Have you ever failed Jesus?
Do you feel that Jesus could never love you again … after all you have done to fail Him?
Peter had made some pretty bold statements about how much he loved Jesus.
BUT … when it came down to “crunch time” … he bombed out … he let Jesus down.
Jesus needs to RESTORE Peter back into fellowship with Him.
That’s what Jesus wants to do for you.
In spite of all our failures, denials, times of disappointing Jesus, breaking His heart, rejecting His love to us … Jesus want to restore us back into His fellowship.