Sunday, March 27th, 2011
Do You Love Me?
He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' '
John 21:17 (NAS)
All Bible lovers remember when the resurrected Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. With each affirmation from Peter, Jesus gives a command:
'Feed My lambs' (v.15). 'Tend My sheep' (v.16). 'Feed My sheep' (v.17).
Many Bible scholars relate Jesus' three commands to Peter's three denials of Him, but His questions and commands live beyond Peter. They are meant for Christ followers today.
If Jesus is 'the good Shepherd' (John 10:11) and we are 'the sheep of the flock' (Matthew 26:31), then Jesus gives His disciples, past and present, clear instructions. Love Him in three actions, just as God loves us in three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
If we love, love, love Him, we must, must, must take care of His flock, because 'the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them' (John 10:12). Does His command cover only our family and Christians we know? No! 'And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring...' (John 10:16).
We cannot know God's ultimate plans or flock. Therefore, we must love everyone.
How do we love them? We 'feed' His children, the innocent, the lost, those young in Christ, with His Word. Note this command comes first. Children (lambs) are the most vulnerable, and they need our utmost attention.
Next we are to 'tend' and 'feed' all sheep; we are 'to look after; watch over and care for' (dictionary.com) all people within the field that He places us, His disciples. For actors, models, and talent for Christ, Hollywood is our field.
Only in loving others can we truly answer His question, 'Do you love Me?'