Many of us know the story of Jesus restoring Peter to fellowship with Him. We find the story in John 21:15-19, and much has been written and taught about this passage. The first question Jesus asked Peter was, “Do you love me more than these?” He may have been asking whether Peter loved Him more than the other disciples did, or perhaps if Peter loved Jesus more than he did his fellow disciples.
Another option is Jesus may have been asking Peter if He loved the nourishment of God over bodily nourishment (they were eating breakfast after a night of hard fishing). While people teach the first two more often, I’d like to focus on the third option. I think “Do you love me more than these?” is a good question for us all to ask every day.
What if Jesus were to visit you in person today and ask you if you were more in love with Him than you were with your stuff, your family, or your comfort? Would you hesitate in answering? Is there perhaps a part of you that knows answering yes would be disingenuous on some level? I think that’s true for almost all of us.
Chances are very good you love Jesus. I doubt you’d read this blog if you didn’t. But do you love Him more than everything else? We often ask if you love Jesus more than anything else. That’s in some ways an easier question. I think it’s easy to love Jesus more than any individual thing or person. But what about all the things in your life combined? You may love Him more than anything, but do you love Him more than everything?
Imagine every area of your life in dire straits. Imagine if you had no friends, no job, no money, no place to live, and nothing to eat. What if you were living in constant fear of violence, had no freedom over what you could do or say, and were very ill? Now imagine you could reverse all that by turning away from Jesus. Would you? Don’t be too quick to answer. Sit with the scenario for a bit. Would your love for Him be greater than your desire to be well, have a roof over your head, some money in your pocket, and be able to live without fear?
Unless we love Jesus more than everything this world offers, based on the teachings of Scripture, we have to question whether we love Him at all. We can’t have Jesus as part of our life, no matter how important that part may be. If Jesus is not our life, then He isn’t in our life. That’s a huge and scary thought. But have you not read that Jesus demands all of your devotion, not just some of it (Luke 9:57-62, Luke 14:26-33, Matthew 16:24-25, Galatians 2:19-20, Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:22-24)?
How will you respond when Jesus asks, “Do you love me more than these?” Does the way you are spending your time and money reflect that you do or don’t love Him more than everything? Does the way you love reflect His love for you or does it more resemble selfishness that loves around the edges only?
I am overwhelmed with the conviction to understand and tell you that time is running out. We will need to answer whether we love Him more than everything else very soon. Maybe before this day is over. Brother and sister, do you—do I—love Jesus more than these?