Summary: Easter 3(C) - Jesus asks: Do you truly love Me more than these? Do you truly love Me enough to follow?

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April 26, 2009 --


John 21:15-19

INTRO: God’s great love at Easter still echoes in our ears every day. On that first Easter God’s angel announced: “He is not here, he has risen!” Those words echoed in the empty tomb. The women heard those words and told them to the disciples. The disciples heard those words and told them. Those same words are still ring true today. Last week the disciples fished all night on the Sea of Galilee. They caught nothing. Early in the morning Jesus directed them to try again. They caught 153 fish and the net did not tear. John recognized Jesus. “It is the Lord!” The words echoed over the calm sea that day:

Our echoing words today are the very words of Jesus. Jesus asks the question that searches the depths of every soul. “Do you truly love me?” Being a Christian means knowing what that word love truly means. God’s love is true love. "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us"(ROMANS 5:7,8). This is love: God’s love for us!


I. More than these?

II. Enough to follow?


A. Verse 15a. Jesus made breakfast for the disciples on the shore of Galilee. They were refreshed.

1. Jesus questions Peter, verse 15b. Jesus uses the name Peter = Rock, given to him by Jesus.

2. Jesus asks about the depth of Peter’s love. Do you really, really love me? “Yes”, verse 15c.

3. Do you love more than these: disciples, other followers, or even fishing occupation.

B. Verse 16a. Again, do you really, really, deeply love me? This time no comparison of “more…these”.

1. Verse 16b. Again, “yes”. Peter’s answer uses the term for a “friendly love”.

2. Verse 17a. The third time Jesus’ uses Peter’s term for love.

C. Verse 17b. Peter was hurt. Peter had denied Jesus three times. Peter was sad for his sinful behavior.

D. Our gracious God and loving Lord speaks directly to us: “Do you truly love me?” This love is a deep, soul-felt love. Do we really, really love the Lord? Our sinful nature constantly stands in the way of our loving the Lord God perfectly. Still, we know what Scripture says over and over again. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength"(DEUTERONOMY 6:4,5). This is a simple statement of God’s truth for every believer. It is an easy statement to make but much, much harder to keep.

E. Let’s face it. We are more attached to this world than we like to admit. Daily we spend a far greater amount of our time living in this world rather than in the word of God. The fact is we are even created from the dust of the earth. Our attachment to this world is real. The things of this world often become the attractions that distract from the very love of God. "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 JOHN 2:15). “Do you really love me more than these?” “Yes” we do – but not always. Not perfectly. We always have room to improve.

F. Our sinful nature is selfish. Our sinful nature always wants to please the desires that are centered in an earthly satisfaction. It is an attitude that Jesus warned about. All too often and all too easily we often fall into the sinful ways of this world. “Eat, drink, and be merry”. In the blessings of our great nation we can forget that we are to be more heavenly minded than worldly centered. The world offers much but provides very little. "Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things"(PHILIPPIANS 3:19). How often do we think about the next meal before we are finished eating the present meal? How often don’t we worry what to make for supper while we are preparing breakfast? “Do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes” but it takes work. We always want to remember that our citizenship is in heaven.


A. Jesus put Peter to the test by asking him three times to express his deep love for the Savior.

1. Each time Peter answered positively, “Yes…yes…yes”. Peter also confessed, “You know”.

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