The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you. – Jeremiah 31:3.
Let us examine some portions of John 21. The scene is the shore of the Sea of Tiberius. Jesus had just helped His disciples catch a boatload of fish. It is dawn. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them: “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught. Come and eat breakfast.” (verses 10, 12). Jesus then distributed the bread and fish among His disciples.
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” (v.15.) He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (v.16.) He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” (v.17.)
Do we hear His Word? Does Jesus speak to us asking, “Do you love me more than these?” He says, “I delivered you when you were bound in sin’s tight grip. When you were bleeding, I healed your wound and gave you everlasting life.” “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” [John 8:32]. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” [John 14:6]. “But now having been set free from sin, and having become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” [Romans 6:22]. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” [Romans 8:2].
I came searching for you when you were lost and wandering about without a Shepherd and having found you, I brought you into My fold so that you can be close to Me. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” [Luke 19:10]. “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” [1 Peter 2:25].
I turned your darkness into light. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” [Ephesians 5:8]. “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” [Colossians 1:12]. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” [1 Peter 2:9].
He says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget you.” [Isaiah 49:15] “I have loved you with an everlasting love” therefore, “with lovingkindness have I drawn you” [Jeremiah 31:3]. My love is higher than the heights above, deeper than the depths below; it is free and faithful.
You shall soon see My glory when my work of grace is complete. You will be ushered into eternity and shall be inheritors of My possession. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.” [1 Peter 5:4]. He asks, “So, do you love Me?”
We can feebly complain to Him that our love for Him is weak and faint and yet we must tell Him from our hearts that we do love Him and adore Him for all that He is and has done for us and pray for grace to love Him more, from the depths of our beings.
So, how many times must He ask us if we love Him? If we do love Him then let us do what He says.
Jesus said: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father said to Me, so I speak” [John 12:48-50].
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.