“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” (John 21:15 NKJV).
In the space of forty days between the Lord Jesus’ triumphant resurrection from the dead and His glorious ascension into heaven, the Lord Jesus appeared ten times to His disciples. The third appearance of the risen Lord Jesus to His disciples was at the Sea of Tiberias where His disciples had gone fishing with Simon Peter, abandoning the ministry the Lord had given them.
When Simon Peter said to other disciples, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.” (John 21:3 NKJV).
But just as day was breaking, the Lord Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was the Lord.
While the disciples were about giving up after toiling all night in vain, the Lord Jesus appeared to them, asking, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.” (John 21:5-6 NKJV).
This miracle immediately opened the eyes of understanding of John the beloved and he screamed to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.” (John 21:7-8 NKJV).
Besides the miracle of catching a multitude of fish at the instant the Lord spoke to them, another miracle was waiting for them at the shore.
The Scripture reveals, “Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.” (John 21:9 NKJV).
The Lord had already prepared a breakfast for them! What they were seeking and struggling in vain to get was waiting for them at the Lord’s feet.
Similarly, there is nothing that we shall ever need in this life that God has not graciously provided for us in and through Christ Jesus. All the things of this world that you are seeking and struggling in vain to earn or gain are available in Christ, at the Lord’s feet (1 Cor. 3:21; Eph. 1:3).
The Scripture states: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3 RSV).
Then the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” –knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.” (John 21:12-13 NKJV).
When the disciples had finished eaten the breakfast prepared for them by the Lord Jesus, then the Lord faced Simon Peter asking him the same question three times, saying, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” (John 21:15 NKJV).
The third time the Lord Jesus asked Simon Peter the same question, Simon was grieved and troubled, and so he replied, saying, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” (John 21:17 NKJV). Afterwards, the Lord said to Peter, “Follow Me.” (John 21:19 NKJV).
When you abandon your God-given calling, purpose, or vision in life, like Peter and the early disciples, to pursue your personal and selfish desires, dreams and ambitions, then, you should expect the Lord Jesus to ask you the same question several times, saying, “Do you love Me more than these?”
When your soul is no longer thirsting or longing for the Lord Jesus, but for the fleeting things of this world; when your mind is no longer set, fixed or focused on the things that are above, but on the ephemeral things of this world; then, you should expect the Lord to ask you the same question many times, “Do you love Me more than these?”
When you allow worries, anxieties and cares of this life – what you will eat, what you will wear, where you will live, or how you will pay your bills – to fill, rule, control, and dominate your soul, then the Lord would ask you the same question repeatedly until you realize your foolishness and unbelief.
When you compromise your spiritual and moral values and standards in order to procure your carnal desires, to gratify your lusts, or to achieve your selfish ambitions in life, then, it is time to face the Lord’s question, “Do you love Me more than these?”
When you become completely immersed in, engrossed or occupied with the affairs of this present life and you are no longer looking forward to the glorious return of the Lord Jesus, then, it is time to expect the Lord’s question, “Do you love Me more than these?”
Beloved, the Lord Jesus surely has a glorious calling, purpose, vision or ministry for you as He had for Simon Peter and the rest of His disciples. The Lord has been preparing you for the unique ministry or assignment He has for you.
The Scripture states: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10 NKJV).
However, it will take you loving the Lord Jesus, not merely in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth, and far above anyone or anything else to fulfil the ministry that you have received from the Lord.
If there is anyone or anything in this life that you still seek for, cling to, esteem or love above the Lord Jesus, then you are not yet ready to walk in the good works which the Lord had prepared beforehand for you to walk in.
Jesus said, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matth. 10:37-38 NKJV).
Friend, what are you passionately or desperately chasing after in this life?
What are you expending your time and energy to acquire in life?
What are the things of this world that you are clinging to tenaciously?
What are the things of this world that have charmed or captured your soul?
The Lord Jesus is asking you today, “Do you love Me more than these?”
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for loving the things of this world more than You and for setting my mind on things on the earth. Dear Holy Spirit, restore and revive God’s love in my heart and soul today, in Jesus’ name. Amen.