Editor’s Note: Today’s AMI Quiet Time is provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Church in San Diego.
Devotional Thought for Today
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.
During the course of our marriage, my wife would randomly ask me, “Do you love me?” To that question, there were a vast array of replies from me. Anything from, “Of course I do” or “Why do you ask?” to “Maybe” to “Not today.” (Of course, the latter two were playful responses.) It seemed that a nice firm, “I love you” was the best answer to that question, reassuring my wife that I am all in when it comes to our marriage.
Here, Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” (By “these,” Jesus probably means “these other disciples.” According to the other Gospels, Peter had boasted that though all the others fall away, he would not [Mt 26:33 par. Mk 14:29; cf. Lk 22:33; Jn. 13:37], but we all remember how that went.) Peter answers quickly, “You know that I love you.” Then again, Jesus asks Peter the same question. Then a third time, Jesus asks if Simon loved Him. Commentators explain that this third time hurt Peter because it was a painful reminder that he had just a short while ago denied His Lord three times.
There seems to be a connection, though, between loving Jesus and the command that He gives immediately afterwards: “Feed my sheep.” Jesus is shaping Peter’s idea of pastoral ministry that he would be entering into starting on the Day of Pentecost, until Peter’s own tragic death on a cross, according to traditions. That idea is that feeding Jesus’ sheep cannot be divorced from loving Jesus deeply. The effectiveness of the ministry flows from the loving relationship one has with Jesus.
Perhaps you have many ministry items to check off on your list today or this weekend, and you might be feeling overwhelmed. Or perhaps you have become quite skilled at leading your small group or ministry team or conversing with unchurched friends, and so you feel quite confident. Before diving into your ministry setting, how about pausing to reflect on the question, “Do you love Me?” and being able to say to Him, “You know that I love you.”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I do love You, or at least I really want to. Help me in this area of loving You. Reveal Your love for me today so that I can engage in Your ministry with Your love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Lunch Break Study
Read John 14:15-18: “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Questions to Consider
- What is a clear indicator that you love Jesus?
- What do you discover about the Holy Spirit from Jesus’ promise in verse 16-17?
- How do these verses comfort you in the challenges you face today?
- This statement is not so much a promise that the one who loves Him will keep His commands, as it is a definition of love itself.
- Here is the first reference to the Paraclete (parakletos),translated as Advocate. This word is a verbal adjective meaning “called alongside,” related to the verb parakaleo, “call to one, summon.” Outside the New Testament it is used in legal contexts to mean “a legal assistant, advocate” (Liddell, Scott and Jones).
Spend some time expressing your affection and love to Jesus. If you’d like, play several meaningful songs that expresses love to Him, and as you sing the words, worship Him.