“After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.'” John 21:15.
Love they say makes the world go round. More songs and poems have been written about love than just about any other subject. And yes – love is absolutely essential in our lives. From the moment we’re born until when we die. So why is it that so many people don’t experience love in their lives? Real love – the sort of unconditional love that Jesus was referring to when He and Peter had a heart to heart talk in John 21.
There is a strong message contained in Jesus’ conversation with Peter. Each one of us can benefit from asking ourselves the same question that Jesus asked Peter: “…do you burn with love for me more than these.” What did Jesus mean when He said “more than these“? He could have meant, “Peter, do you love Me more than you love your friends, your family, or the other disciples?” Or Jesus could have meant, “Do you love Me more than you love these boats, these fishing nets, and this profession and lifestyle?”
Peter had gone back to fishing for fish rather than for men. He and the other disciples had been out all night fishing, and they hadn’t caught anything. So Jesus could have meant, “Do you love Me enough to give up all this so you can follow Me and preach the gospel? Do you want more of Me than anything this world can offer? Do you want more of Me even in difficult circumstances?”
“Do you love me?” (John 21:15) That’s a very convicting question, a simple question we should ask ourselves: do you love Jesus? The answer would probably reflect Peter’s answer, “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” But a second question is needed. The additional question is “what are the ‘more than these’ in my life?'” The secret of service to the Lord Jesus Christ lies in the answer to the question, “Do you love Jesus more than anything else in the world?”
If we really love Jesus, we will follow Him with all of our heart. If we really love Jesus, we will want to be like Him. And if we want to be like Him, that will change the way we think, speak, and act. It will change what we do and where we go. And still we will want more. And more.
Your marching order as a follower of Christ is spelled out in Galatians 2:20: “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.“ This life is not your own. So if you’ve died to self, there’s no more of you – only Him living through you. With each choice that comes your way, you exercise more of Him and less of you when you ask “God, how would you decide this? What would You want? I’m Yours, so the choice is Yours, too.”
- How would you rate your desire to have more of Jesus?
- What can we do this week to exercise more of Him and less of us?