MONDAY, MAY 17
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
John 21:15 (NLT)
LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE – KEYS: ASKING THE QUESTION
Dr. Evan Kane was the head of Summit hospital in New York, in the 1920s. At that time, when they operated they used general anesthesia. Dr. Kane felt local anesthesia was enough, would help patients do better, and recovery would be quicker. His theory seemed true, but no one was willing to go for a surgery without general anesthesia. He finally found a willing patient who wanted an appendectomy done. Dr. Kane had done over 4,000 appendix removals. So he went through the procedure, everything without the general anesthesia. And the patient, as predicted, got up and walked out the next day himself. This was amazing. In those days, people had to stay in hospital for about a week or so after an appendectomy. What was extraordinary was that Dr. Kane performed the surgery on himself.
This week we are going to do a little heart surgery on ourselves. The question we are asking ourselves is “Do we love Jesus?” In John 21:15-17, Jesus asked the Apostle Peter three times if he loved Him. The first two times, Jesus used the greek word “agape” for love. This word means a perfect love without flaws and complete commitment. The third time, Jesus used the greek word “phileo” for love. This word means more of a brotherly love and affection for someone. Peter was only able to tell Jesus that he had the “phileo” kind of love for Him. Peter had been humbled by his own personal failures.
None of us will ever match the perfect agape type of love that Jesus has for us. It’s only by God’s grace that we can love Him at all. However, each of us should honestly evaluate our love for God on a regular basis. How would you answer Jesus if He asked you the same question He asked Peter?
Thank God for loving you even when your love for Him is less than perfect. Thank Jesus for the privilege of being in a loving relationship with Him.