A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 21, 2020
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’” (John 21:15 NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to doing normal things again. I want to go take my time and eat in a restaurant. I want to sit in a theater and enjoy a movie. I want to leisurely stroll through a store and buy non essential items. But most of all, I want to gather together in worship with my church family. I want to fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Following the resurrection the disciples still seem uncertain and fearful. At one point Peter tells the others that he is going fishing and some of the others join him. Here is Peter after all he has experienced with Jesus basically saying I want to do something normal again. I’ll return to my old life of fishing. But do you remember what happened? They fished all night and caught nothing. Not a single fish. Only when Jesus appeared and told them to cast their nets do they catch more fish then they can handle. Once you encounter Jesus you really can’t go back to your old life.
At the end of this story Jesus has a touching encounter with Peter. Peter must surely still be carrying around the guilt and shame of denying he knew Jesus three times right at the hour of when Jesus needed his friend the most. But here on the shore of the Sea of Galilee Jesus asked Peter three times “Do you love me?” And three times Peter answers “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” What a healing moment that must have been for Peter.
The first time Jesus asked the question he said “Do you love me more than these?” I think Jesus is referring to the fish. Do you love me more than your old life? Are you willing to let go of your old life and take my hand and head out on an amazing adventure?
Jesus asked each and every one of us “Do you love me?”Amen.