“You Must Follow Me”

John 21:15-17, 20-22

(15) When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

(16) Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

(17) The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

(20) Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.

(21) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

(22) Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

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Jesus was not calling into question Peter’s character. Jesus knew Peter. He knew every bold act and rashly spoken word. Like when:
  • Peter declared, “Lord, this shall never happen to you!”  as Jesus spoke of his death
  • he asked Jesus to quantify how many times he must forgive someone
  • he felt the need to remind Jesus just how much the disciples gave up to follow him
  • Peter said, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
  • he fell asleep, instead of praying, when Jesus was at his own crossroads at Gethsemane
  • or after Jesus was taken and Peter was accused of being one of Jesus’ followers and he said the words, “I don’t even know him”.
This same Peter who the Spirit of God revealed to and spoke through when he proclaimed to Jesus:
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”
  • Peter, who trusted enough to walk on water
  • Peter, of who Jesus said, And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

The point Jesus was making to Peter was this:

‘I know all about you Peter, and I still love you. I know you Peter . . . Do You Love Me?’

This was a question Peter had to answer for himself, not to enlighten Jesus, but to firmly decide for himself. Once he was able to do this Jesus charged him to “Take care of and feed my sheep”

After this Peter asked about the plans of another disciple and

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

Peter, who denied even knowing Jesus. Peter, who was loved, forgiven, restored, and commissioned to follow Christ.

 

So you see, it doesn’t matter what you have done, how much time has passed, or how deep the sin has been buried, you will never go so far that the Father’s grace cannot reach you.

Calvary has happened, the proof of the Father’s love is seated at His right-hand, and today He is asking You . . .

“Do-You-Love-Me? If so, You Must Follow Me”.


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