Summary: To what extent are we willing to love Christ Jesus/
Do You Love Me?
John 21: 1 - 19
Intro: It is believed that the gospel of John originally ended with Chapter 20. Scholars believe this because of differences in language and sentence structure. VSS 15 – 19 are viewed as an epilogue to the story. These verses bring everything to a close and leave nothing hanging such as the denial of Jesus by Peter. These verses show that Jesus is “fishing” for something other than FISH. When an individual who has “feelings” for you asks any one or all of these questions you know they are “fishing” for something: Do you love me? / Why do you love me? / How much to you love me?
I This passage is easily divided into three sections: VSS. 1 – 3 (the disciples decide to go fishing; VSS. 4 – 14 (Jesus feeds fish to the disciples); VSS.15 – 19 (three questions for Peter)
A Let me begin by sharing that in GK. there are 4 words that express somewhat different aspects of our word “LOVE”: 1) (Storge) – kinship or familiarity; 2) (philia) – Brotherly affection; 3) (eros) – sexual or romantic desire; and (agape) – self-emptying or divine love.
B There is a lot of theological material here; However, I want to concentrate on VSS 15 – 19 because the center on a confrontation between Jesus and Peter.
C In these verses, Jesus uses agapatos the self-emptying or divine love. Peter answers using philios. John uses these verbs as synonyms throughout his gospel with no difference in meaning.
II Simon Peter continues to be the impulsive, quick to action, and slow to follow through person as be has been portrayed in all the gospels.
A There is a textual problem in VS. 15. The problem is with the last word of the question Jesus asks Peter. “Simon son of John, do you love me more than THESE?
B The GK. word is t??t?? – twoton. In this context, the word can refer to either persons or things.
C I Jesus referring to the other disciples? Do you love me more than those present love me? Does Peter love fishing and things more than he loves Jesus?
III Jesus asks Peter three times if Peter loves him. In John 13: 37 Peter said, “I will lay down my life for you.” The reality of the situation is that Peter denied Jesus 3 times.
A Each time Jesus questions Peter’s love for Him, Jesus gives Peter a job to do: 1) Feed my lambs, (THOSE NEW TO THE FAITH), 2) Take care of my sheep. (THOSE WHO ALREADY BELIEVE), 3) Feed my sheep. (BELIEVERS WILL NEED FEEDING THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFETIME.)
B The love Peter declares for Jesus brings not only privilege, but also, responsibility.
C Jesus is asking us the same question: “Do you love me more than these? Do you love Christ Jesus more than all you have? Do you love Jesus more than you spouse, children and friends? Just how much DO YOU LOVE JESUS?
Concl: The love of Jesus can take us away from the familiar, away from the ones we love, away from the comfortable, away from ourselves. --- What is the depth or the extent of your love for Christ? Where are we willing to let the love of Christ Jesus take hold of us and move us? --- Christ Jesus comes to each of us this day as he came to Peter long ago asking, “Do you love me?