“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’” (John 21:15-19 [ESV])
We’ve all heard teachers and preachers teach that the second time Jesus confronted Peter and asked him three times, "Do you love Me," He was reinstating Peter as his disciple. A new thought came to mind as I read this passage. This questioning by Jesus caused Peter to decide and state for himself and for those listening the depth of his love and devotion to Jesus.
Before Peter denied being one of Jesus' disciples after His arrest, he had followed Jesus when his brother Andrew introduced him to Him. Peter, Andrew, James, and John followed Jesus when He commanded them to follow Him at the start of His ministry (Mark 1). These men and other people watched Jesus heal people, cleanse them from demons, and teach with authority. More and more people followed Jesus, but these four men and the other eight disciples did not stop following Jesus, except for Judas when he betrayed Him. When Jesus commanded Andrew, Simon Peter, James, and John to follow Him on the first day of ministry, they did it from instinct. This man, Jesus of Nazareth, was compelling.
On the day Jesus restored him, Peter concluded for himself he would follow Jesus. He did this because of his own conviction of who Jesus is (the Son of God) and because of his love for Jesus. Peter, with his affirmations to Jesus' three questions in John 21:15-19, internally devoted himself and externally testified to those listening of his decision to follow Jesus.
Today, we each must decide for ourselves. Are we following Jesus because we are part of a crowd of people who want to see what He will do? Or are we following Jesus because we affirm He is the Son of God Who takes away the sin of the world and we dedicate ourselves to Him out of love and devotion to Him?
Today is the day for you to decide for yourself who Jesus is to you - the Son of God or a charismatic man. What is your decision?
Lord, You are God above all things and You died to save me from my sins. Forgive me for denying You when You tell me to do or say something. Forgive me this rebellion. Help me to stand firmly stating You are my Lord and Savior. Let the words I speak, the actions I do, and the thoughts that go through my mind, attest to Your Lordship in my life and lead people to seek You as their Lord and Savior. Use my life for Your purposes and glory. Amen.