Jesus: “Do you love me more than these?”

Image result for john 21 peter and jesus

In my previous post “Jesus doesn’t need your fish!“, I explored the idea of co-labouring with Christ in ministry. Though we can do nothing without Jesus, he still partners with us to do the work. Now, we arrive to the passage that is often called the Restoration of Peter. Just as Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him thrice. I shall not go into the Greek verbs for love as many have done so.  I would look at Jesus’ question to Peter – “Do you love me?”

This question is of utmost importance especially for those in pastoral ministry whether you’re serving as a youth pastor, a theological lecturer, a cell group leader or a Sunday School teacher.

Jesus’ question “Do you love me?” forms the criteria for ministry. It is the one question we must answer first before we do any form of ministry.

Do you love Jesus? 

If you do love Jesus, feed his sheep (John 21:15-17).

Do you realise that the first criteria for entering pastoral ministry is whether you truly love Jesus?

Do you love Jesus?

Jesus did not ask:

  • Do you love people?
  • Do you love preaching?
  • Do you love your church?
  • Do you love to share the gospel?

I realised I can love preaching without loving the people I preach to. I can love people without loving Jesus. I can love the church and expanding it without loving Jesus. I can share the gospel to increase church attendance and not because I love Jesus.

It’s a really insidious thing when our focus is diverted from loving Jesus. We turn doing church into a task or a management system. We begin to neglect the sheep instead of feeding them. We begin comparing ourselves to others (John 21:20-21). It all goes downhill when our love for Jesus is gone.

Do you love Jesus?

Have you lost your first love (Rev 2:4)? If so, tell Jesus how sorry you are. Ask him to renew the love you had at first and to keep it burning strong. Only when your love for Jesus is in place, are you ready to feed his sheep.

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