“Lovest Thou Me?”

Have you ever denied Christ?

Peter denied Jesus three times the night Christ was arrested. Afterwards the disciple was horrified to realize he’d done the very thing Jesus foretold.

Earlier that evening while the disciple were partaking of {what we now call} the Last Supper, Jesus began to prepare the men for what was to come.

“Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. {Matthew 26:31-35}

How many times do we want to be a Peter? We promise God that we will never forsake Him or turn from Him?

In our humanity we fail over and over again. I know I do. Thankfully, Jesus meant it when He said “I will never disown you.” If we love Him and accept Him into our hearts, He will not disown us.

After Jesus died and was raised from the grave, He gave Peter another chance.

Peter and several of the other disciples were out fishing when Jesus appeared to them. John 21:7 says “As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.”

That verse made me wonder about Peter’s actions. Was he in a hurry to get to Christ? Did he remember denying Christ and was trying to hide from embarrassment?

Later after they finished their meal, Jesus gave Peter another chance to prove his loyalty.

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.”
{John 21:15}
Jesus asks the first time and tells Peter to feed His lambs. He is using the image of a shepherd caring for and herding his lambs.
In the next verse, Jesus asks Peter a second time if he loves Him.
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.”

Peter not only agrees, but tells Jesus that He knows that he {Peter} loves him. This time Jesus tells him to care for His {Jesus} sheep. Jesus is using the imagery of a shepherd caring for his flock.

In verse 17, Jesus ask Peter the question a third and final time.
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.”

Can you imagine how hurt Peter must have been to be asked this question again? By all accounts Peter was an impulsive man. Why was Jesus asking him this again? He’d already answered the Lord twice. Notice Peter’s answer, “Lord, you know all things.” What a wonderful reminder that the Lord knows all, even when we don’t. Jesus knew Peter loved Him, but he wanted Peter to admit that fact.

Once again Jesus told him “Feed my sheep.” Now the Lord knew that Peter was ready to go out and spread the gospel. With those words Jesus proved what He said earlier in the upper room, “I will never forsake or leave you.”

No matter what we’re facing or struggling with, we’re not alone. The Lord is with us and no matter the road ahead He’ll walk that road ahead and with us.

The commentaries I read say that Peter put on his outer garment to go to Jesus. Yes, he was embarrassed and probably wanted to hide, but he met Jesus face to face. I wonder if he fell to his knees upon reaching the Lord? Jesus wants us to run to Him the way Peter did when we fall.

There are times when life is difficult and we don’t want to minister to his flock. Still, that’s exactly what He wants us to do. Through the adversity we learn the lessons to minister to others in that same situation. There are times we need to be ministered to and other times we need to allow God to use us to minister to others.

Are you feeding His sheep? If Jesus returned today, what would your answer be to His question, “Lovest Thou Me?”


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