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follow1 John 21:15-22 – When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

follow2Jesus has one question for us that will ring in our ears for eternity. “Do you love Me?”

What do we do everyday that proves our love? What words are spoken out of our mouths that show our love for Him and for His people? What about our actions? Do we spout off at people, gossip about them behind their back? Do we plot against them because we don’t like change? Are we jealous? Are we looking at ourselves when we feel dissension or are we always pointing the finger and following the crowd? Are we being uplifting and edifying others or are we speaking negatively over eveything? Is that showing LOVE? NO!!!!

follow3Peter denied Jesus THREE times before the crucifixion. In greek, Jesus asked Peter the first time if he loved Him in a self-sacrificing way (Agape). “So, Peter, what are you willing to give up to love and follow Me?”

The second time was the same.

The third time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, he used the greek word, phileo, which means affection or brotherly love. “Peter, are you really my friend? Are you who you say you are? Are you REALLY loyal? Are you REALLY going to have my back when times get tough? Are you REALLY going to stand by me and love me even when you don’t want to? Do you LOVE me??”

follow4He was getting to the heart of the matter and giving Peter an opportunity to repent and Jesus was showing true forgiveness. After all was said and done, Jesus said, “Follow me.” Two simple words. Where did forgiveness go? If we are following Christ, why are we not willing to follow those He put in leadership over us? Where does this self-seeking, self-righteous, jealous anger come from?? It’s not from the Lord.

follow5Peter did NOT say, “Follow where? When? How? What about MY way? What about what I WANT???? What about ME????  In need to make sure that things go MY way and I get what I deserve, Jesus!!!” NO!! Peter realized that if he truly LOVED CHRIST, he would be willing to go, no questions asked. Peter knew that he would find himself in difficult situations; but he would go, without a fight. Are you REALLY willing to love like HE loves? Walk where He walks? Go where He leads? Support those who are bleeding and leading? Or are you just turning your back and walking away??? The CHOICE is yours. Love others above yourself for once and BE THE CHANGE you want to see…IN LOVE. God is LOVE, change is inevitable for growth to take place, and we are not the center of the universe.