“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, `Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’” (John 21:15)
A little background might help here. The resurrected Lord told the disciples to go from Jerusalem to Galilee and wait for him at a certain mountain. Somewhere along the way, Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” Being a leader, the other disciples followed (see John 21:3).
Who knows what was going on in Peter’s mind. Was Jesus taking too long to get there? I know that feeling! Sometimes Jesus seems to take His sweet time.
Maybe, after denying even knowing Jesus, Peter decided he wasn’t cut out for the whole disciple thing.
Whatever was in his heart and mind, he returned to his old way of life: fishing.
I bet when Jesus asked if Peter loved him more than “these things,” that Jesus kind of swung His open hand to Peter’s boat, his tackle, his nets, the large load of fish they just caught, the profit he’d make from the haul, his old life on the sea. I’m sure it was tempting to return.
Jesus is asking about Peter’s priorities…if Peter loved Jesus more than his own life and his own plans. Peter says yes, to which Jesus responds, “Feed my lambs.” A simple and clear reminder that Peter wasn’t a fisherman anymore. He’s now a shepherd, a pastor of God’s flock.
What are “these things” in your life that distract you from loving the Lord? Are they higher priorities in your life than He is? Are they keeping you from obeying Jesus? Join us Sunday and we’ll talk about it.