Have you ever told someone you love them, and heard them respond, “Love you more?”
John 21:15 – So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
I pastored the same church for 28-years, to the date; July 6, 1986 until July 6, 2014. I love the Lord, I still love the people, and I loved the work of the ministry. I was honored beyond words that the Lord would entrust that congregation of His sheep into my hands for teaching, training, shepherding, equipping, modeling, loving, and leading. And furthermore, despite the inevitable trails that came, I loved the experience. Over that 28-year period, after most services, I stood at the door to shake the hands of the congregation, to chat if they desired, to give them a hug, and tell them I loved them. On occasions too numerous to count, when I would say to someone, “I love you,” certain people would respond, “Love you more.” I never spoke against that, or rebuked that, or even showed any attitude towards that statement, but I could not help but wonder, why is there an apparent competition? I believe they meant their statement to communicate a great depth of love and affection toward me, but still, why the competition. It seemed then, as now, that so many people are in a competition for the favor and affection of others. But my friend, in the Love of God, there is no competition. The AGAPE love of God is at the top of the heap. There is none better; it is the highest and the best. And if you love someone with the Love of the Lord, in AGAPE love of God, there isn’t any more. When you love someone with the Love of the Lord, with AGAPE love, you love them in and through the keeping and obedience of the Word of God toward them. The greatest definition for “the Love of God,” for AGAPE, is in the Scriptures in 1 John 5:3 – “… this is the Love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous.” It can be no clearer than that.
In our Text for Today, Jesus was not asking Peter if he loved Him more than the other disciples loved Him. Rather, He was asking Peter if he loved Jesus more than he loved the other disciples. That was the real question of the day, and it is still the question for today. Do you love Jesus more than you love any other person in the world? Of course, THINGS should not even have a place in this conversation. No THING should be loved more than a person, and no person should be loved more than Jesus Christ. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Only by loving Him supremely can we live in a place of truly loving others as we should. Love HIM more!
Manna for Today – John 21:15-19; John 14:15-17; 1 John 5: