When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
If there’s one chapter in the Bible that I believe I know by heart, it’s John 21. What makes me love this Chapter is the conversation above, where Jesus has reassured Peter that he’s forgiven and that Peter is still capable of doing great things for the Lord despite his past mistakes.
This chapter also taught me that following Jesus is a personal thing. We need to follow Jesus, regardless of what others are doing. This is very evident when Jesus said to Peter, “what is that you?” when Peter asked, “what about John?”.
But lately, God has revealed something new to me from this passage. It’s actually the same question that God has been asking me since last year.
“Cary, do you love me more than these?
Do you love me more than your family, your friends, your work and even your ministry? Do you love me more than the things and blessings I have given you?”
And the sad thing about it is that my answer is ‘I don’t know’.
Yes, I am truly enjoying the work and the ministry that God has entrusted to me, but am I really enjoying Jesus Himself? If God will remove all these things, will I still love Him? Will I also answer yes if Jesus will also ask me three times if I love Him?
The truth is, I have forsaken my first love. But praise God that it’s not yet too late to rekindle that love. And I am still able to love because He first loved us.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
(John 15:5 NIV)