Do You Love Me?

“Do You Love Me?”  John 21: Vs. 16

This was one of the last questions Jesus asked the disciple Peter while He was on this earth.  The story that led up to this question goes something like this.  The disciples were fishing all night and in the morning they still had not caught any fish.  When the disciples looked toward shore there was Jesus but, the disciples did not know it was Jesus.  This was after Jesus died on the cross and they did not recognize him.  Jesus asked them.  Did you catch anything for breakfast?  They answered Him, no.  Jesus told them to put their net over the right side of the boat. There were so many fish in the net they couldn’t drag it back into the boat.  When they got close to land they saw that Jesus, already had a fire built, with fish and bread cooking on it.  Jesus told them to bring the fish they had caught.  Peter went and hauled the net to land full of great fish but, the net did not break.  John 21: 4-6, 9-11

What a fantastic story.  The fish obeyed His word and went where Jesus told them to go.  The net was somehow strengthened and did not break and the men were strengthened so they were able to pull the net to shore. Somehow miraculously, a fire of coals was built with fish and bread already cooking for breakfast.

Why did Jesus manifest His power in the things of nature?  He never explained why to the disciples.  He just showed them that all power in heaven and earth was given to him.  That things on this earth that have minds and think, as well as those things we do not think as having rational thought, are subject to his will and obedient to his voice.

Jesus goes on to ask, “Peter, do you love me more than these?”  Peter answers, “Yes Lord, I love you.”  Jesus says, “Feed my lambs.”  He asks a second time, “Peter do you love me?”  Peter answers, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus says, “Shepherd my sheep.”  Jesus asks a third time, “Peter, do you love me?”  Peter answers with great frustration, “Lord, you’ve got to know that I love you?” Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.”  Jesus knew the call to love and be obedient to his voice, would bring Peter to situations and places that would be hard to step into.

Recently, I took a trip to Detroit to spend time with my sister.  She is facing some life changing transformations in her life.  Her husband is in hospice and she is finding herself facing a future without him after fifty some years of marriage.  While we were packing up her house to sell and gathering things to take to her new apartment, some remarkable things started to happen.   Some of the sadness was being washed away and she was beginning to lean into the joy that was her life.  God had blessed her with loving memories she would always carry in her heart. There was also the comfort in knowing Don, was safely in his heavenly father’s arms.  She was experiencing the peace, only her love and trust in Jesus could bring.  He was taking care of her needs.  I was so grateful to be able to share this time in her life with her.  It was wonderful to be together.

It may be, that this divine love that feeds His sheep and feeds His lambs is this earth we live in becoming the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.  A kingdom where you do not perish but, are alive in Christ.

We pray that we will be so filled with your love that we recognize the needs of your sheep when we see them. We give thanks Lord, that you have given us great joy, when we show our love for you by sharing your love with others.  We are so grateful that you have given us one another to love and care for.  May we always feel the great joy and power of your love, written on our hearts.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Lois Autterson

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