Do you love me?
John 21:15-18 New International Version (NIV)
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. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
“Peter, do you love me?” Jesus asked this same question three times. And Jesus replied “feed my lamb, take care of your sheep.”The Lord asked this same question because Jesus knew so well how Peter would live and die as he served the Lord. (V.18) In the end, Jesus wanted for Peter to know that the absolutely necessary condition for fulfilling the missions is the love for the Lord.
Loving God is the first and the last condition to fulfill God’s missions. Let me share about one unknown priest who gave his life for Christ in the 16th Century.
For the first time I've heard about Francesco Javier who lived in 16th Century.Looking back on his life, I realized that he was the most influential Missionary in history for the evangelization of Asia besides the Apostle Paul. He was probably a little known figure in Protestant Churches because he was a Catholic priest.He was born the son of a Spanish aristocrat but found himself a brilliant and passionate man of learning to the point of earning a doctorate from the University of Solbonne in France, although there was a dark period of his childhood when he suffered from the downfall of his family. However, he met a mentor who would determine his fate, and that is when he met a priest named Loyola, who was then known as a Saint, he also walked the path of a priest and lived the life of Ministry for the expansion of the kingdom of God. What was surprising was that he himself jumped into the Asian mission and preached for the gospel on his journey across India, through Indonesia and Japan, to Gwangju, China.
Back then, Asia was a completely unknown country. He realized that his passion for Asian mission was required to give his the unspeakable devotion and sacrifice that emerged from the love of God. In his brief prayer, we can see how deeply he loved God.
With the passion of the gospel for deep love for God, I was able to go to the uncharted land of Asia. His burning love for God was the deepest occasion to drive himself into uncharted land. With that burning passion, he ran toward the Missionary, where he was a servant of humility who was always striving to restore human dignity. He was also surprised to hear that he had brought nearly 100,000 people to the LORD for his service throughout his life times.
With God’s love, he was able to endure all the hardships and suffering even unto death. Yes, loving God is the only condition that we could hold as we live as a Christian.
Jesus would ask the same question to you now... Do you love me? "Do you love me?"
This question applies to us as well. Because there is the power to fulfill the mission that is entrusted to us in full, the life that is best for you and fully loves you.
Not only Peter, but all his disciples who followed him, could die in the face of death because of the love of the Lord. Because they knew that love could save them even if they died.
Not only the disciples of the Lord, but also the many missionaries and saints who fulfilled their gospel mission, they were able to fulfill their mission to the end because of their profound love of God. Sometimes I am also tempted to give in the ministry God has given to me and live in comfortable life in this world. But whenever I think of the first time when the Lord called me, then I can move on without trembling. In the most difficult times,God confirmed his love for me by saying that “ I love you.” With that love, I have been able to fulfill the mission God has entrusted to me.
Today I ask you the same question. I hope you will respond seriously to this question, “Do you love me?”
If God’s love lives in us, we will be able to overcome any difficulties and hardships. When you love him with sincerity, God will give you plenty of strength to defeat the world in His love.