“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?'” (John 21:15, NIV)
This is a complex passage of scripture because its few words carry a number of applications — and these daily notes are, by intention, short. So, today, I will address one application, and take-up the other applications in subsequent days. Deal?
On perhaps the deepest level, Jesus’ questions to Peter are designed to restore Peter to fellowship: “Do you (Peter) love me more than these (other disciples)?”
Where Peter had first loudly and persistently proclaimed that he loved Jesus more than everyone else, Peter later denied even knowing Jesus when pressed — a grievous offense in any friendship.
In our own relationship with Jesus, when times are “fat,” do we promise more than we are willing to deliver when times are “lean”: That is, when “being Christ in our corner of the world” is personally costly in terms of time, treasure, or reputation?
No one knows where he or she will be tomorrow. God will provide all that we need in the moment, and for the moment — time, treasure, helpful accomplices, and inspiration; but when we engage in self-promotion, we “write checks we cannot cover.”
It is in “lean times” that we learn — as Peter did — that while we may not know what the future holds, it is best to know Who holds the future (and it isn’t us). – Luther