Monday, February 20, 2012

"Do you love me more than these?"

Not long after Jesus was resurrected, the disciples went fishing on the Sea of Galilee. They fished all night and caught nothing. As the sun was coming up, Jesus was on the beach and yelled to them, "Cast your net on the right-hand side of the boat" (John 21:6). This time the net filled up with large fish. Jesus showed His power over nature by commanding the fish to swim into their net.

Peter pulled a net full of 153 fish to shore (21:11).  After the disciples finished eating breakfast with Him, Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" (21:15)  These what? It had to be one of two things. He could have meant "these other disciples." Peter had bragged that the other disciples would deny Him, but he would never do that. But, of course, he did. So Jesus would be pointing to the other disciples.

The other possibility is "these fish." We don't usually say "these" when we're talking about people. In verse 10, Jesus had asked him bring him some of the fish they had caught, so He was probably pointing at those fish. Why would He use fish as a comparison? It was because Peter was probably thinking about returning to his fishing business. He may have been thinking, "I've put in three hard years of following Jesus, and I'm ready to go back to fishing. I love fishing!"

Jesus in so many words said, "Peter, I'm not done with you yet. You're just getting started. Now I want you to go out and teach people everything you've learned from Me. Feed my sheep. Do you love me more than the fish?" 

It's a question He asks all of us.  "Do you love me more than fishing?" "Do love me more than football?" "Do you love me more than your hobby?" "Do you love me more than Facebook?" "Do you love me more than . . . "