John 21: 15-23

WHAT DOES IT TRULY MEAN TO LOVE GOD? Better yet! What does it mean to committed to God? I want to talk about a man who had to be brought to a point of brokenness before he could understand what it truly means to love God. I want to talk about a man who I would love to hang out with! Because we have a lot much in common. I want to talk about a man who has put his foot in his mouth more than once! I want to talk about a man who was given a nickname by His Lord specifically
  • A man who was a hard worker.
  • A man who was a big brother.
  • A man who was classified by culture as an uneducated fisherman.
  • A man who had a passion to lead and get it done.
  • A man who was admired by many of his friends and peers.
  • A man who had a temper.
  • A man who was imperfect.
  • A man who God called to be a “fisher of men”.
  • A man who sinned in the face of Jesus Christ not once but 3 times!

THIS MAN IS PETER!! Originally known as Simon the Jonah! John 1:41-42 “He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is translated, A Stone, rock).” Peter is about to see what it truly means to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength as Moses taught the Israelites and as Jesus taught us in the Gospels by His great commandment! “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your strength”But before we can answer that question let’s look at what lead Peter to this pinnacle moment in his life to truly realize what it means to Love God

LET’S GO BACK AS FAR AS THE UPPER ROOM DISCOURSE!! Jesus explains where He is going and what is about to happen in the coming hours. Peter said to Jesus........ "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake."  John 13:37. In Matthew 26:33 Peter said “.......Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away." But Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.  John 13:38. LET’S FAST FORWARD TO LATER THAT NIGHT! Jesus is arrested and is taken to the religious leaders, He has been beaten by the religious leaders and the guards. The disciples have all scattered because of fear, except one?Peter! We read in Matt 26:69-75 “Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee." But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying." And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth. But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!" And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you." Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.

In Luke’s account it says And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61-62

How do you think Peter felt after he denied the Lord 3 times? Especially after his big promise in the upper room!! Looking into the eyes of Jesus the God man! The One who loved him and called him to Himself!

Peter’s heart must have felt.......... 
  • Torn to pieces
  • Ashamed
  • A traitor like Judas
  • A complete failure
  • A liar and coward

LET ME ASK YOU! What would you do if you were in Peter’s shoes? Can you see a Peter in your life right now? Do you truly love the Lord. GOD SEES AND KNOWS OUR HEART! Jesus knew what Peter would do.... but the story doesn’t end their!! The Lord Jesus is standing on the shore...Jesus asks the 7 out of the 11 a question!!!  (v5). Jesus probably keeps the fish away until He arrived!! Why by what we read in (v6). The disciples don’t realize its Jesus until John said ‘it’s the Lord  (v7). Peter jumps into the water to get their first as the men struggle to get the fish to shore (v8-v9). Jesus starts a fire and makes the men breakfast (v9). This brings us to the pinnacle moment in Peter’s life, when the Lord confronts him to what it truly means to love God


Jesus goes right to source of our soul.......OUR HEART! IT’S INTERESTING TO SEE HERE A CHANGE IN JESUS’ TONE IN HOW HE DEALS WITH PETER! Jesus confronts Peter with something that would make anyone pay attention! Look what Jesus says in (v15) Simon son of Jonah....Not! Peter. It’s the same when a parent is upset or concerned with their children.......Rachel Emily or Victoria Grace........ Come here!! Jesus was speaking to Peter with a gentle rebuke as a parent! By calling him by his original name “Simon” WHY DO I SAY THAT? The Bible says in Mark 14:37-38 “Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Luke 22:31-32 “And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."

John MacArthur said “it was as if our Lord called Him by his former name when he was acting like his former self” ......................I’m going fishing. JESUS LOVED PETER DEEPLY......... BUT HE WANTED HIM TO REALIZE THAT THE LORD WAS: More important than fishing? This breakfast I prepared for you and the disciples? Your friends and the disciples close to you? Jesus wanted Peter to be solely focused to Him and to serve Him with heart of commitment in all aspects of his life. “Simon, son of Jonah! Do you love me?” and Peter response with “you know I love you”

We see two different uses of the Greek word for love” Jesus uses the Greek word “agape” in His sentence, while Peter uses “phileo” in his sentence....Agape means to love God because He is love...its unconditional love, a love that never ends. Phileo means to a have a friendship with someone, an affection, an emotional attachment for a this situation Jesus. Jesus wanted his unconditional commitment to Him  and Peter responded with you know I love you as a friend or a brother. Jesus wants all of Peter and He wants the same with you and me. In Matt 16:24 we read this strong statement by Jesus “Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” THE QUESTION IS! Do we take that verse and many others like that seriously........Because Jesus does...... Simon do you love Me? Jesus had to ask this question 3 times to make Peter finally understand!!

THE LAST TIME JESUS ASKED PETER THIS QUESTION. Jesus is forced to use the same language Peter used “do you phileo me” This hurt and struck Peter in the heart because he finally realized what Jesus was trying to get at. Peter understood that Jesus wanted him to be fully and completely dedicated and in love with Him above everything. Peter finally understood what Jesus wanted him to do!! Love the Lord and feed and tend the children of God with all his life to the very end of his earthly journey. We are to be committed to the Lord Jesus Christ is our:
  • Joy
  • Happiness
  • Victory
  • Satisfaction
  • Everlasting peace
  • Treasure above all!

Are you willing to do that for the One who made it possible for you to life again? Are you going to follow whether it’s by life or death? As the Psalmist said in (Ps 63:8)My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me” To cling to the Lord, to hold onto Him,to follow Him in all His ways! Whether it’s: Worship; His truths; His Gospel and His children. We need to remember Christ is always committed to us. It’s us who fall short of commitment. As Peter felt here in this conversation with his Lord and as he felt in the garden by the fire that night. The Lord says “I will never leave you nor forsake you” Heb 13:5
  • Are you committed to the Cross?
  • Are you willing to give up everything if He asked you too?
  • Do you really love Him?
  • Does your heart love Him above all things?
  • Would Jesus have to ask you three times “Do you love Me Christian?” 

WHAT DOES CHRIST MEAN, WHEN JESUS SAYS “follow me”? (v19) Literally means: “Peter keep on following Me” To be led by His example (Christ our Lord), to preach or profess the Gospel, submit to the rules of it, and cheerfully suffer for the sake of it, when called to it. This is what the Lord was doing all along. Preparing Peter for the ministry. Since the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus is says to Peter it’s going to cost you everything! for following the Gospel, we see this in verse (18-19). Whenever any Christian follows Christ. He or She must be prepared to suffer even unto death. As Jesus said again in Matt 16: 24-26 “Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?

Our life on this earth is nothing in our own strength, we must deny our selfish ambitions and wants. We must seek to do what is right in the eyes of a Holy and sovereign Savior. Our heart must desire to follow Christ, because it cannot serve to Masters or our former passions
  • Satan chose the World
  • Judas chose the World
  • Lot’s wife chose the World
  • Esau chose the World
  • Cain chose the World
  • Peter chose the cross of Jesus Christ

After this conversation that Jesus had with Peter.......We see by what Jesus foretold came true! Peter went on to be used mightily for the sake of the Cross and to die by it. “Literally” (by what  Jesus said in v18-v19) TURN TO 2 Peter 1:12-15. Peter literally took the sayings of Jesus seriously because he truly loved Him! It says in Luke 9:23-24 "And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save itPeter spent the last 3 decades of his life serving the Lord and anticipating his martyrdom. Peter faced that prospect with confidence, comforted by the knowledge that he would not deny the Lord ever again! But instead glorify Him by his death. History tells us the last hours of his life, it is said that Peter, when seeing his own wife led out to die, rejoiced because of her summons and her return home.  He called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, "O thou, remember the Lord." 

The church historian Tertullian, Origen, and Eusebius state that Peter’s was stretched out by his hands, he was dressed in prison garb, he was taken where no one wanted to go (a crucifixion), and was crucified.  He was said to be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be crucified in the way that the Lord Jesus Christ had been.

C.T.Stubb said "No sacrifice can be too great to make for Him who gave His life for me.”

“Imagine yourself standing alone on the shore with Christ, with the sea of eternity stretching on as a shimmering backdrop. Christ looks at you with knowing eyes and says, “Do you love me? Without comparing yourself with anyone else, do you really love me? Do you have an affection for me? We must love Him above and beyond anything or anyone else.” Kent Hughes. 

If Jesus spoke to your heart today. Would it say? “You know all things; you know that I love (agape) You” (v17). If that’s what your heart says today, never let go of your greatest love and Keep follow Him and serve your King and his people.....AND IF THAT’S NOT YOUR HEART THIS MORNING! MY PRAYER IS "You seek His face for forgiveness and restoration or seek His grace by faith for salvation! Because it all comes down to this one question! DO YOU TRULY LOVE HIM?


Randall said…
We talked about putting Jesus first today at church. Westridge in Dallas, Ga. I enjoyed reading your post. I have come to believe that he is in control of every little thing in this world. There is nothing that gets by him. I do not know how the unbelievers do it. I guess that is why it is our job to bring them to the cross. I rambling. Thank you for yor blog.
Set Free said…
I want to thank you for the time you put into this blog! I missed the service last Sunday, due to a cold, but it's so helpful to be able to read your messages here. This blog was pivotal in bringing me to your church!

~ Brenda

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