THURSDAY, APRIL 26
“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.”
John 21:15 ESV
FACING THE TRUTH: WHERE ARE WE NOW?
One day a boy and his father were walking through the woods when the son spotted some rabbit droppings. The boy asked his Dad, ”What are these Pop?” ”They’re smart pills son,” said his father. ”Eat them and they’ll make you smarter.” So, he ate them and said, ”Yuck…these taste like poop!” ”See,” said his father, ”you’re already getting smarter!”
God knows everything. Out of the blue, in John 21:15, Jesus called Peter by name, looked him in the eye and asked him “do you love Me more than these?” Jesus was smart and already knew the answer, but Peter needed to know the answer. The night of Jesus arrest Peter had a pretty high view of himself and said, “‘Though they all fall away because of You, I will never fall away.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ Peter said to him, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!’” (Matthew 26:33-35)
In the Greek Jesus asked Peter if he had “agape” love for Him. Agape love is a perfect love. Peter responded that Jesus knew he had a “phileo” love for Jesus. Phileo is a deep brotherly affection but is not a perfect love. Peter had come to a place of humility and an honest assessment of where he was spiritually.
When we sin, we are tempted to believe that we have no love for Christ. But let this incident encourage us. It is impossible for any true lover of Christ to go on in a course of sin, but quite possible for us to struggle with sin. And if that is your case, do not avoid Jesus. He still knows you love Him and that your love for Him is not perfect. Part of renewing our intimacy with Christ is an honest assessment of our affection for Him. A good prayer is to ask God to help grow your love for Jesus and for that love to be translated into actions.