Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 29th May 2020: Do you love me?

Resurrection Crucifixion Peter John 21 God Jesus

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 21


When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my lambs.' A second time he said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord: you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Tend my sheep.' He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, 'Do you love me?' And he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep.'

(New Revised Standard Version)


If you have to ask someone "Do you love me?" there is usually a problem. We know when we are loved, it doesn't have to be said in words necessarily, but is often indicated by small gestures or touch. When a child asks if they are loved, their need for reassurance often says far more than they realise.

So why was Jesus asking Simon Peter this question, not just once, but three times? Well firstly, we need to remember that this incident takes place after Jesus' resurrection. Jesus appears to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee (called Sea of Tiberias here) , and he calls Peter by his original name, "Simon, son of John", not "Peter" the rock on which he was to build his church. Then there are the three questions "Do you love me?". These seem to underline the three times Peter had denied knowing Jesus in the High Priest's courtyard the night before his crucifixion. Perhaps Jesus asks these questions not because he needs reassurance that Peter loves him, but because he wants Peter to realise that despite his faults those three denials have been wiped out by the three answers "Lord, you know that I love you!"

When we love someone, we love them faults and all. In fact I would say we love them because of their faults - they simply wouldn't be the person we loved without them! That is how we are loved by God! The question for us is, "How much do we love God?"

Friday 29th May, follow up thoughts


Lord Jesus,
when we say that we are Christians,
help us to remember that this is a commitment for life,
through the bad and the good times,
and requires more than words,
it's also a promise to change our future way of life,
and to follow You wherever You take us.

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