"Christ the Lord is risen today, sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; sing, ye heavens and Earth reply." Charles Wesley
Scripture context: John 21:15-17
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you 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 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.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
Question: Do You Love Me?
“A woman asks her husband, “Dear husband of mine, do you love me?” “Yes, dear, he said, “you know that I love you.” She said, “Make dinner for the kids.”
“Again she said, “Dear husband of mine, do you love me?”. He answered, “Yes dear, you know that I love you.” She said, “I need a hug.”
“A third time she said to him, “Dear husband of mine, do you love me?” The husband was hurt because his wife had asked a third time, “Do you love me?”. He said, “Dear wife of mine, you know me better than anyone; you know that I love you.” She said, “I need a new car.” The husband replied, “How about another hug?”
We are told by relationship experts that people have different love languages. There are certain things that we can do that make certain people feel especially loved. This woman showed three of them, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts. She is saying to him that if he loves her there are ways he can show it to her. When we know people well we learn that we can show our love to them in ways that are especially meaningful to them. This husband said that he loved his wife. She asked him to show her.
In today’s scripture Jesus shows Peter his love language. “If you love me take care of my sheep.” As a parent I can relate to this love language. Throughout my years as a father I always have had warm feelings towards people who were kind to my sons. It works the other way too. If someone was unkind to one of my sons 20 years ago, I remember that too. I probably need to work on that part, but it is a true thing. If you want me to like you, you need to be nice to my kids.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The Good Shepherd loves the sheep. Those who follow the Good Shepherd also need to love the sheep. Jesus is entrusting Peter with this same responsibility. Feed my lambs. Take care of my sheep. Feed my sheep. You say that you love me. Love the ones that I love. This is a love language. How do you show your love of Jesus in a way that especially meaningful to Him?. Take care of the sheep.
Jesus is about to return to heaven, but Peter will stay behind and Jesus has given him his assignment. Jesus is telling Peter that the way to show Him that you love Him is to care for those who He loves. The Good Shepherd will lay down his life for the sheep. Jesus tells Peter to follow Him and do the things He did even to the point of dying for the sheep and so he did. Peter did die but before he did he taught and cared for the new disciples who for taught and cared for others. This is our mission also. The sheep become shepherds. This is how the church goes on. Not all become Pastors like Peter, but all can love. This is how we show our love for Jesus. We love those He loved. We love His sheep.
“As I have loved you so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Let us answer this question for ourselves Continue to teach us how to love you with our whole hearts.