Do You Love Jesus
24 March 2019, sermon by Pastor Rajesh Mathew
John 21:15- 18- 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [b]love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [d]love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you [f]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 all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”
- Do you love Jesus? The only question in the New Testament that was repeated by the Lord was this- Do you love Jesus? The Lord asked Peter this question three times!
- Who is the Lord directing this question to? The Lord is asking a disciple who had walked with Him closely, the one the Lord had picked to be an apostle unto Him.
- When the Lord raised up a girl who was dead, the Lord had taken with Him only James, John and Peter. Peter had seen the power of His resurrection. He also was with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration where he saw Gods glory. He was also with Jesus in what we know as the mini Calvary, which is the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus cried and prayed vehemently with groands and cries and sweat blood.
- Peter was the apostle who had seen all of this and the Lord was asking him this question---
Simon Son of JONAH, DO YOU LOVE ME?
- The answer to this question reveals eternity. This is a serious question. If a friend was asking you some question, you could have take it lightly or brush it away. But if a judge asks you a question, you would not take it lightly, you would be required to give the right response.
- This question was being asked by the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the God of eternity, the Creator of the heavens and earth. You have no way out but give an answer to this question!
- Ask the Lord to fill you with love for him. Ask the Holy Spirit to once again burn your heart with love for HIM.
Peter asked Jesus several questions:
When you study the Bible, Peter was the disciple who asked Jesus the most number of questions! Peter asked Jesus seven questions. They are:
- Mathew 19: 27- Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”
- Mathew 18:21-22- Peter asked Jesus if someone wrongs us, how many times should I forgive them. Would 7 times be OK? Jesus replied that that is not sufficient- forgive him 7 times 7 in a single day.
- Mark 13:4- 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
- John 13:24- 24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.
- John 13:37- Why cannot I follow you?
- John 21:21- Peter asks about John the disciple
- Peter asked Jesus so many questions and in response Jesus asks him just one question thrice--- Do you love Me?
- We also ask the Lord so many questions----Why did I not get my promotion? Why did I not get my breakthrough? Why did my child not get married? When will I see answers to my prayers?
- God is asking all those of you here who have been asking Him these questions—Do you love me? Today, if you respond to that question, in that response is your breakthrough. The Holy Spirit is asking you all- Do you love Jesus more than anything else? If you give the correct answer to this question, there is a breakthrough awaiting you.
- Angels will descend with your answers in the midst of the answer you give the Lord to this one question.
- The powers of darkness are in the end times in your life. If your answer is true to the question that the Lord is asking you, the expiry date to your problem is at hand. Your deliverance and miracle is showing up for you today.
Wherever the Bible talks about love, there is always an action that goes with it or that follows it.
John 3:16- He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life
The expression of His love was that HE gave! Don’t keep professing love without an expression attached to it.
Galatians 2:20- 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
- Jesus GAVE Himself for you. Where there is love, there is a giving
- What would have happened if the book of John did not have chapter 21. John 20 ends with the importance of believing in Jesus for true life. It sounds like a conclusion to the Book. But the Holy Spirit gives it another extension and brings in chapter 21.
- After chapter 21, you see Peter next in Acts preaching to the thousands.
- If not for the chapter 21, Peter would have been known forever as the one who left Jesus, the one who cursed himself for denying the Lord. Because, the last we would have seen or heard of Peter would be of him denying the Lord.
- Even today in the media or in other public platforms, when it is referring or showcasing an individual, it tends to show the person’s mistakes, failures or shortcomings. But this morning, I am not preaching a God who showcases and publicises your faults and mistakes, but of a Lord who covers them and who comes searching for the very people who have denied him, left him, turned their backs on Him.
The Jesus whom I preach comes after you!
- Let the Love of Jesus burn inside of you. His love searches for you, and restores you. Like HE did with Peter.
- After Peter denied the Lord, would Jesus not have found someone else to do His work? Of course, God could have done whatever HE wanted to do through somebody else or all by Himself. But God chooses to search for the same person, restore Him and love him and use Him all over again.
Anecdote: In the past when Rajiv Gandhi was the PM, he had a foreign secretary, This FS in his Dialogue with the Pakistani government, did not keep to the protocol laid down by the Indian Government. Rajiv Gandhi fired him instantly. We do not have a God like Rajiv Gandhi. He doesn’t fire us, His love searches us and restores us. Would you thank Him for His great love!
John 21:1-3- these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and [a]immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing
- Jesus is reminding Peter something here. They had gone fishing and had caught nothing. Here, Peter recognises Jesus waiting for them at the bank and he removes his robes, jumps into the water and starts swimming towards Jesus. Jesus on the other bank was making breakfast for them on coals. Jesus was reminding him something ---“Are you seeing these coals of fire? Does this remind you of night that you denied Me in the front of similar coals of fire but I am preparing you breakfast on them today!!
- The Lord is telling people who have backslidden from Him that HE will restore you. He will bless you.
- Thank the Lord for His great mercies. If it were us, we would look at someone who has wronged us or made a mistake and said “you are suspended for 6 months”. But the Lord is not like us! Thank Him for his mercies.
Your life is not finished. The fish will get into your net. God is preparing breakfast for you. How great is His love!
6 evidences that you love the Lord
1st evidence: You will rely upon the Lord.
The people who truly love the Lord, no matter what they do, they will first ask the Lord, they will pray and seek His presence and blessing. Before an exam, before starting a business, before stepping into a new job, buying land or car, or choosing a bride or during wife’s labour, the one who loves Jesus, will always take refuge in God. They will tell the Lord that they cannot do anything without the Lord. That is the first evidence that you love the Lord.
If you go for a holiday, won’t you tell your friends that you are going? If the Lord is your Master, why don’t you tell HI?. It may be small matter or big matter, but remember to tell Jesus about it
Tell Him. Go down on your knees and tell Him.
2nd evidence: You will take up responsibility
You won’t be a spectator in church, if you love the Lord. You will serve Hm. It may be to lay chairs or shake somebody’s hands. To intercede, give somebody a lift in your car. It could be any of these or more, you will take up responsibility. You will understand the needs of the church and be willing to help out. You won’t be a mute spectator. Ministry also should flow out of your love for the Lord and for people.
3rd evidence: You will have a heart of repentance
Verse 17: 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you [f]love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time,
Peter was grieved that he had hurt the Lord. Your inner most being, your heart is what the Lord is concerned about. He wants your heart. No matter what you do on the outside, if your heart doesn’t have love for Him, nothing matters. If your heart is full of love for the Lord, you will repent when you sin. Going against God will hurt you.
4th evidence: You will take a risk
Verse 18: Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”
You won’t play it safe. You will take a risk. This verse talks about the kind of death that Peter was going to have. Peter did not consider himself worthy to die the way the Lord died, and so he was crucified upside down
Tell the Lord---“I will take a risk for you”. Lift up Jesus before whoever it is. Within families and wherever else the Lord is telling you. If you do not openly declare Jesus before people who are not in the Lord, you are hiding. If you publicly own the Lord, you can confidently come into church knowing you truly love the Lord.
5th evidence: You will keep relationships
Some people say they have a relationship only with the Lord. They won’t talk to the wife, children or people in the church. There are people who do not forgive others but you come here to church and jump up and sing the loudest. Unforgiveness is like poison. Bitterness is like poison. You have poison and you are expecting somebody else to die. No! You will die. That is what unforgiveness does to you!
Lot of believers in many churches do not have love in their hearts and are not taking care of or mending their relationships. If you truly love the Lord, you will love the other people.
6th evidence: You will wait for the second coming of the Lord
John 21: 23- 23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”
The one who loves Jesus will eagerly await his second coming!
The Holy Spirit is asking you only one question today, do you love Jesus?