Posted by: springsinthedesert | November 6, 2009

Do You Love Me More Than These??

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.”

               John 21:17
Two days back, God had told me to write the next two day’s devotion about Peter’s denial. I hope that yesterday’s devotion was helpful for you. Today, I would like to tell you about the love of God that finds you when you are heavy burdened. We see that Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. IT is the same Peter who diligently followed Jesus. He was even ready to lay down his life for Him. When Jesus was arrested, fear creeped in and he made the mistake of letting Jesus down. We read yesterday that Jesus looked at him, straight into his eyes, and this made Peter realize his sin and he wept bitterly.

But if you read all the gospels, we see that Peter did not get a chance to ask Jesus forgiveness. Jesus was taken for trial and was followed by the crucifiction. Peter did not get a serene moment where he could open up his heart with Jesus. With that heavy burden of sin, he saw Jesus crucified. Even though Lord taught them many times that He will resurrect after 3 days, in reality they did not expect such an event.

In my imagination, I see Peter in deep thought about his denial. He is saying “If only i got a final chance to ask him forgiveness…My master would have been deeply worried about my reaction…It is true that he has given us, the disciples,  to carry on the gospel, but will I be ever useful for Jesus with this sin of mine?..”.

Like that he would have been tormented by hundreds of questions. In agony and a low self esteem, he decided to continue his fishing business which once he had left for Jesus. But little did he know about the love of his master that comes in search of a sinner who longs for forgiveness. What amazed me was that Jesus came in search of Peter, to the place where he was. Remember, this is not the Jesus who walked with them, it is the God who completed His mission in this earth by showing the world the only way and truth..the resurrected Jesus. The one who conquered the sins and became victorious. Can you imagine, this Jesus before ascending into heaven, coming in search of Peter near the shore.

If you read John 21, you will understand another interesting thing, this resurrected Jesus even prepared breakfast for the disciples who left their vision and went back to their own job of fishing. I  believe that He would have come there to meet his disciples, especially Peter. Jesus knew that Peter is a special man and he is not called to be a fisherman. He has a higher purpose in life. This heavy burden of sin  need to be addressed immediately. Otherwise it could prevent him from going forward in his mission. And thats the reason Jesus came there to meet them. The disciples  immediate worry was that their efforts was in vain. The disciples struggled whole night and they did not get any fish. Jesus addressed their immediate need, made them a lovely breakfast to satisfy their hunger and created a beautiful atmosphere so that he can take care of Peter’s spiritual hunger. He started the conversation with  three simple questions.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
      “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
      Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
      He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
      Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

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.”
When I first read this, I did not understand the true meaning of it. I thought Jesus must be asking Peter, because he denied him three times. But God told me one truth that Jesus was giving him a chance of forgiveness. Every time Jesus asked the question, he got a chace to think back and answer it carefully. Finally he admitted “Lord you know everything, you know that I denied you 3 times, you know that I’m weak in my faith towards you, but you still know that I love you with a whole heart. This encounter with Jesus and the forgiveness he received from Him , made him to be a strong leader which we read in Acts.

What does this teach us. Our God comes in search of us when we are heavy burdened with a sin. When we feel worthless to be a follower of Christ, He comes to strengthen us and to motivate us. He gives us a second chance in life. He knows our heart…He sees an aching heart which is filled with regrets of letting him down, but at the same time full of love towards Him. The same Love comes in search of matter where you are, what you are doing. He not only cares for your immediate needs, your hunger, and healing, He satisfies your spiritual hunger. Just like Peter, jump off the boat and run to Him. He is waiting..

 In Him,

Rani John


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