DO YOU LOVE ME, MORE THAN THESE?
HANDOUT FOR SERMON: Do You Love Me? John 21:1-25 INTRODUCTION: It is very important that we never loose sight on the purpose to which we are called by God. Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ means we become like Him. Jesus’ life on earth was to fulfill His Father’s will. If we are truly followers of Christ, we will do the same. Do we see and understand the value of every soul or every person? God has called us on “missions of mercy!”
Serving God means serving others. We have looked at this valuable connection is former lessons based on Luke 15:1-32, Galatians 6:1-4 and Matthew 18:1-29.
Shepherd and the lost sheep. 4-6
Woman and the lost coin. 8-10
Father and the lost son. 11-32
Paul had a message for the spiritual ones (not the weak and unskilled).
Those who are spiritual have the responsibility to restore others.
Spiritual ones restore always in the spirit of meekness and in doing so we fulfill the law of Christ.
Matthew 18:1-29 Those who belong to the kingdom are to have a specific behavior & attitude.
The need to be humble. 1-4
The need to be careful in dealing with others. 5-10
The need to be useful. 11-16
The need to be merciful. 21-29
The goal for us as Christians is not to make everyone conform to our ideas, views, and practices, but to submit to Christ and allow Him to mold us into what He demands. What kind of Christian are you? Are you a Christian of many words, yet little action? Are you a Christian of little words and little actions? Are you an introverted Christian?
Do you understand that a proper relationship with God involves deep love for Him and the things of God but it also involves loving all that God has created and that includes all other people. In our lesson today, we will be looking at the disciple and apostle Peter. We will look at his journey of faith with successes, failures and gradual growth.
Did Peter love Jesus? Matthew 4:19 He immediately left his nets. Matthew 16:15-18 He declared that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the living God. Luke 18:28 He said he had left all to follow Christ, John 18:10-11 He drew his sword to defend Jesus. We would probably say Peters’ love for Jesus was a 10!! But what about his love for serving others?
John 21:1-8 A story of Peter seeing Jesus on the shore. Notice that he was excited and impulsive. He jumps into the water and swims to Jesus. He forsook his brothers with the enormous work they were doing. Peter was all focused on getting to Jesus. He didn’t make the connection that loving Jesus includes our service and help when others need us! Could we be like Peter? How many people do we “run by” or pass on our way or journey through life?
John 21:15-17 The question presented to Peter: Do you love Me more than these? Peter responds three times. Take note of Jesus’ response: “Feed My sheep”. What is Jesus trying to get Peter to understand? Peter needed to adjust in his relationship with Jesus. He needed a restored relationship with Jesus with great love for Him but also great love and service to others.
John 21:18-19 Jesus reasons with Peter and gives him guidance and counsel for what is in the near future. Beware of what is going to happen to you, Peter. Stay more focused on that and follow me. Jesus speaks of his crucifixion and His willingness to die for all the sinners of the world. His focus was not just on the “one” or “few” special ones. The question is, Peter are you willing to love as I love because you may have to die as I did. In the future Peter would also die in service to the Lord.
John 21:20-24 Peter becomes a changed man. Early in the Peter’s discipleship he would show his immaturity. He would say some good and correct things but then go and do some rash, unwise and impulsive things. Peter also struggled with worrying about other people. He seemed to focus on John’s relationship with Jesus. I suppose Peter was comparing himself to John?? Maybe worrying about John?? Jesus had to correct him about this. Church writings indicate that Peter most likely died around 60 A.D. The apostle John was the last one to die of all the apostles.
PETER BECOMES A CHANGED MAN. In the writings of Peter, we see a more mature man in the faith. We will look closer at some passages in 1st and 2nd Peter. These were written later in the life of Peter and you see maturity in his teachings.
1 Peter 1:13-16
Prepare for action. 13
Be obedient. 14
Be holy. 15-16
Remember you are redeemed. 18
1 Peter 2:9.12-13 It is all about submission. If we love Jesus we will submit to Him completely and this will influence all our relationships in life. Such as: in marriage, the government, and the Church.
1 Peter 4:1-2 & 11, 1 Peter 4:7-9
1 Peter 5:1-5
CONCLUSION: We all may be able to identify with Peter. Just as Peter changed so can you. Those of us who are already Christians, we need to work more intensely to make our love and heart for Jesus to be deeper and more loving for Christ which in turn causes us to be focused on others and caring for others.