God is Love
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
What would you do if someone asked you the same question three times? This is exactly what happened to Simon Peter, Jesus’ disciple. Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love me?” as though to say, this is of utmost importance Simon. It is a question that is equally important and relevant for us today. In the midst of a world filled with God and truth deniers, there is urgent Kingdom work to be done. In the midst of a great falling away, Jesus is once again asking as he did back then, “Do you love me?” If so, then, “Feed my sheep.” And this is love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Beloved, Jesus obviously heard Simon Peter’s response the first time. But he repeated the question two more times for Simon Peter’s own benefit. He probably wanted Simon to think about what love meant. And today is a good day as any to reflect on that very question. Do you love Jesus? Then feed his sheep. Do you really love Jesus? Then feed his sheep. Are you totally positive that you love him? You know what you need to do, just feed his sheep. That’s all he is asking of you and me.
Heavenly Father grant me the depth of your love, so that I might feed those whom you send my way. Begin today Holy Spirit. Give me the opportunity to love on someone, who needs to know your truth. Amen.