Influencers Devotionals

Abiding Treasure: Do You Love Me? by Bryan Craig

May 17, 2022


When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, 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.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, 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 everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.  John 21:15-17


Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love Me?”  It says Peter’s heart was broken.  It could be that Peter was still reeling with guilt and shame over denying that he knew Jesus, not once, but three times.  Of course, Jesus told him this was going to happen at a time when Peter thought his faith was unstoppable.  (see John 13:36-38) But God is a God of reconciliation.  Perhaps, He asks Peter if he loves Him three times to give him a restoration for each of the times Peter denied Him.  That is encouraging to know that our sin cannot outdo Jesus’ forgiveness. 

Also, right before Jesus told Peter he would deny Him, He talks to Peter about sifting: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22:31-32  This “sifting” must be related to extreme test Peter went through as all hell broke loose that Thursday night after the Last Supper.  First, Peter could not stay awake and pray with Jesus as he requested.  He was not there for Jesus in his hour of need.  Then, Peter tries to make up for his failure to pray by grabbing a sword and cutting off the ear of a soldier during the arrest.  He is rebuked by Jesus here too.  Then, he flat out denied knowing Jesus three times!  One account in the Gospels says Jesus heard Peter’s denial and looked right at him as he said it. 

But above all that, this question Jesus asks Peter, one of his closest followers, is so penetrating, “Do you love Me?”  I believe Jesus is tying this question to the evidence for the answer.  Each time Peter says, “Yes”, Jesus responds with a directive to take care of the flock.  Jesus was about to ascend back to Heaven, and Peter was the one who would lead the flock in Jesus’ absence.  Peter could only do this properly out of his love for Jesus.


Do you love Jesus?  Pause before you answer.  I heard a speaker at a men’s event talking about how he heard men making all sorts of excuses of why they could not read God’s Word or get involved in church.  He said many men would say they were not smart enough to understand the Bible or that they did not have enough time.  He commented that these same men were well-versed in their favorite hobbies like fishing, hunting, golf, to the point where they could give a Ted Talk on the topic.  He said, you spend so much time immersing yourself in your hobby because “you love it.”  He said the reason you don’t spend time in the Word or thinking about spiritual things is because “you don’t love Jesus.”  Wow!  Did he just say that? 

It's a fair point.  Would someone who loved Jesus abandon Him at his time of need, even deny knowing Him?  Would someone who loved Jesus stay silent while in the presence of others who are blaspheming His name?  Would someone who loved Jesus give Him the leftovers of their time, their resources, their talents, if at all?  Would someone who loved Jesus keep participating in willful sin, knowing that their sin nailed Jesus to that Cross?

At some point, we will all reach a crossroads like Peter did, as Jesus comes to us in His loving way, despite the ways we have failed Him.  This usually happens when we are broken and destitute, realizing we made the wrong choices.  And Jesus comes to us, wanting to make sure we are ready for the ministry He has ahead for us.  Do we love Jesus...more than our bank accounts, more than our career, more than our family, more than our life?


Yes, Jesus, I love You.  How can I not love You?  You are the One!  You are the one who has always been there for me, when no one else was.  You are the one who has loved me my whole life.  You died for me.  You have given my life meaning and purpose.  You forgive my sin.  You overlook all my shortcomings and see the best version of myself.  Lord, I’m so sorry for all the times I’ve denied you by my actions or by my silence.  I’m so sorry for my selfishness or for wanting to steal Your glory, for making it all about me.  I’m so sorry when I’ve doubted You or when I haven’t had your back.  Lord, thank you for loving me.  Please use me to help your flock find an intimate, abiding relationship with You.  I do love You.  In Your Name, I pray.  Amen.