Do you love me?
In this final week of Easter, we straddle Holy Week as Jesus finishes His prayers and dialogue at the Last Supper and then talks to Simon on the seashore after He has risen from the dead.
We start the week hearing Jesus tell the apostles that they are going to scatter and leave Him alone, and then immediately He starts to comfort them. That's not usually how that goes, is it?
He tells them not to worry that they have left Him alone because the Father is with Him. He wants them to know so that when they come back, they'll have peace. They've already been forgiven, and then Jesus prays for them. He doesn't pray for what they will do in the next few days. He prays for what they will do in the years after. Forgiven. Forgotten.
Yet as Jesus talks to Simon Peter on the shore, it doesn't seem like things have been forgotten. Three times Jesus asks, "Simon, do you love me?" On the third time, Simon gets a little frustrated. "Lord, you know I love you!" Hopefully he didn't miss the responses to his answers every time.
"Feed my lambs."
"Tend my sheep."
"Feed my sheep."
The point isn't for Simon to convince Jesus that he loves Him. The point is to remind Simon where his center HAS to be. He's going to be leading this church and it has to be based on his love of Jesus. Has to.
This is why you will help others. This is why you will spread the message. This is why you will go to the ends of the earth. Because they are MY lambs, MY sheep. You love them because I love them, and you love Me.
It's Jesus' call for Simon. Isn't it His call for us, too?
Where is your center? What is your foundation? Time for a gut-check. Don't worry if you're off a little bit. Jesus is waiting on the shore for you.