A. Let this tender but heart-searching question of our Lord:

1. Come home to our hearts

2. It is not enough for us to believe that He is the Messiah our Saviour

B. The fact is:

1. Our personal love for Jesus Christ sets the tempo for our relationship to Him and His children

2. For when we truly love the Lord we will also love our fellow believers


A. This heart-searching question by Jesus Christ:

1. Shows that God seeks the love of His children - Deut. 6:4-8; Matt. 22:37-40

2. Note, carefully, three times our Lord repeated the question of our opening text - John 21:15-17

3. Someone said, correctly, that zeal for truth without personal love for the Lord Jesus

is an exhibition of "mildewed theology"

4. In uttering the words of our text, our Lord indicates that our personal attitude toward

Him and His cause is determined by our love and affection for Him

B. God is ever ready to acknowledge love:

1. He did this in the experience of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac - Gen. 22:12

2. Jesus did this in the home of one Simon the leper - acknowledging the love of Mary

- Luke 7:44-47

3. Solomon in his youth loved the Lord and the Lord acknowledged it – I Kings 3:3 4. This filial love was very strong between the Lord and Lazarus, Mary and Martha -

John 11:5,36

C. Love is an active force:

1. It reveals itself; it cannot be hid. Examples: a mother's love as revealed in the life of Rizpah - 2 Sam. 21:8-10; the woman of Canaan - Matt. 15:22-28; the relationship

between David and Jonathan - I Sam. 20:41; 18:1

2. True love is marked by sacrifice and attachment as in the case of Naomi and Ruth -Ruth 1:15-17


A. It is human for one to compare himself with others:

1. Peter was concerned about John - John 21:15-21

2. "Lord are there few that be saved" - Luke 13:23

3. In God's sight human comparison does not count - Matt. 5:46-47

4. Had Adam realized that he had a personal responsibility to God, he would not have

eaten the forbidden fruit offered to him by his wife

B. True and abiding love for Christ will show itself:

1. By what we are willing to give up for Him. Examples: The early apostles forsook all

and followed the Lord Jesus - Luke 5:11; Mark 10:28-29; but the rich young ruler refused to pay the price - Matt. 19:16-21

2. By seeking Him as Mary sought Him - John 20:15; Matt. 28:5; Mark 16:6; John 6:24

3. By confessing Him before men - "yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee" - John 21:15

4. An open confession of Jesus Christ as my Saviour is very important in my

relationship to Him - Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8; we think of the open confession of the

man that was healed from blindness - John 9:1-30

5. By rendering loving service to Him - "Feed my lambs . . . feed my sheep",- John 21:15-17

6. Christian service is motivated by love for Jesus Christ - because His service may

mean a special sacrifice on our part

7. Finally, love for Jesus Christ will lead to sacrifice. Examples: we think of Mary

Magdalene out of whom He had cast seven devils - Luke 7:37-38. Think of what she did to prepare the Lord for burial - Mark 14:3; John 12:3. Legend says that when Peter was about to be executed by hanging, he requested that they would hang him with his head hanging down and his feet up. When asked why he made this request; he said that his Master was crucified with his head up - and that out of love to Him he wished to be crucified with his head down.

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