"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly 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."
I've been thinking a lot about this passage of scripture lately. When Jesus asks Peter if he loves him, he already knows the answer, I mean, he's Jesus. What I think Jesus was doing here was proving a point to Peter. I think the point was this: I think Jesus was trying to help Peter see that "loving him," as Peter understood how, wasn't what Jesus was after.
Jesus asks Peter a third time, "Peter, do you LOVE me?" Peter's feelings are hurt, but Jesus wasn't trying to hurt his feelings, he just wanted Peter to know how deeply he desired Peter to show the love he had for Jesus, to others.
I've been thinking about my response to Jesus' question, "Justin, do you love me?" I'll answer by volunteering my time to lead worship, or council a Christian brother, in a way of saying, "Yes, Jesus. See?" But He isn't after that. He's asking me a third time, I want my response to be, "Yes, Jesus. Whatever you ask of me, yes."
Francis Chan brought up an interesting point in a sermon I heard of his today. He asked if we merely "added" Jesus to our lives by claiming we were Christians, or if we were letting Christ transform us, by deciding to follow Him. I hate to say it, but I've been guilty of merely "adding" Christ to my life's equation, rather than following Him, in obedience. That needs to change, now.