JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…do you truly love me?”
August 12, 2009, 1:13 pm
Filed under: D Gospel According to John

As I finished reading the book of John this morning, chapters 18 to 21, there is a sense that Jesus’ words from the last chapter (“…do you truly love me?”) seems to permeate the narrative. To Judas, the betrayer, and the “detachment of soldiers and officials from the chief priests and Pharisees” who came to arrest Jesus I can hear Him say “do you truly love me?” To those who questioned Him in the mock trials, like Annas and Caiaphas and finally Pilate I can hear Him say “do you truly love me?” To Peter who denied Him three times I can hear Him say “do you truly love me?” To the crowds that shouted “Crucify him!” I can hear Him say “do you truly love me?” To His mother, his mother’s sister, and Mary Magdalene and John who stood near the cross I can hear Him say “do you truly love me?” After His death on the cross, to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who buried Him I can hear Him say “do you truly love me?”

Jesus said to the disciples a few days before during the Passover meal “If you love me, you will obey what I command….Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him….If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him….As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love…My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command….This is my command: Love each other.” Can Jesus say it any clearer? Can what we read here be any brighter? The love that Jesus has for us is incredible, unfathomable. He is truly full of grace and truth!

After His resurrection Jesus had a camp fire going, sizzling some fish over an open fire…man, that sounds good! His disciples recognized who He was and came to Him, after following His directions in catching fish. Jesus asked Peter three times, as if to reaffirm to Peter that He had forgiven Peter’s denial of Him before His crucifixion, “do you truly love me?” When Peter says yes to each question Jesus answers, as if to say okay if you truly love me then “you will obey my commands” which in Peter’s case was to “feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…and feed my sheep(and finally)…Follow me!” I sense that the focus here is that Jesus, while reaffirming Peter is telling me that if I truly love Jesus then I will be involved in participating/loving in His Body.

Jesus new command was to love one another just He had loved us. After His death on the cross that brings a bit more meaning to “deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me”! If I truly love Jesus then I WILL deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus. I will choose, because of the power of the Holy Spirit in me/us, to love others, even when it means taking up the cross, whatever that cross is. What are the crosses that I need to take up? What are the things I need to die to in order to truly love Jesus? Perhaps like Peter maybe it is arrogance, selfishness. Perhaps like Judas I need to die to greed. Perhaps like the soldiers I need to die to hurting others whether verbally or physically. Perhaps like the religious rulers I need to die to my ego or what I think is right for me. Perhaps like Pilate I need to die to cowardice and men pleasing.

Perhaps I need to be more like His mother Mary, Mary’s sister, Mary Magdalene, John, Joseph of Arimathea, or Nicodemus who forsook themselves and were willing to not pay attention to the worlds standards and love Jesus more than anything, even my own life. I’m not even sure they even gave the worlds standards a second thought because they were solely focused on loving Jesus and loving one another.

After the Holy Spirit came and indwelt His people, His body there seems to be some additional meaning to what Jesus told Peter. It is the sense that feeding Jesus sheep, because they are His Body, and Peter is part of the body, is like meaning we are to feed each other, mutual feeding. Feeding then in its essence is mutual love in the Body. In humility listening to what Christ says in the inner man and speaking and serving in love to one another. Jesus words of eating His flesh and drinking His blood, feeding on Him comes to mind. When we live by His life, we feed on Him, abide in Him and we do so by listening to Him, and paying attention to what He is saying by His Spirit. His words are always about loving one another.

Lord help me be like these who didn’t pay attention to themselves or the world, not caring about the consequences, but solely focus on listening to You, loving You, Your Body, and others around me! “Do you truly love me?”

1 Comment so far
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Wow! Its imposible… I’m realy shocked :/

Comment by Clothing

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