Do You Love Me?

I’ve been told in various settings that there are no dumb questions and no wrong answers. I’ve lived long enough to prove both of those statements wrong. I am still trying to master the art of asking good questions.

Here are a few of the good questions…

  • “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14)
  • “Does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
  • “What will my life be like tomorrow?” (James 4:14)
  • “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”  (Matthew 27:22)

These questions must be asked. They require being answered truthfully.  The most important questions are asked of mankind, by Deity.

  • “Do you love me?” When Jesus asked this question of Peter, it required an answer.

The events leading to this question began days earlier. It was on the night Jesus was betrayed, he met with the disciples to observe the Passover. Jesus shocked them with the statement, “one of you will betray me” (Matthew 26:21). The disciples began to respond to this statement with questions, “Lord, is it me?” But Peter, characteristically, boasted that he would never betray the Lord. “These other guys my fail you, Lord, but not me!” Peter assured Jesus that he would be faithful through death.

Just a few hours later Peter would be proven unfaithful and unable to defend the Lord’s honor.

There’s good news that comes after this crushing behavior of Peter.

He must have felt such shame and regret that he was so weak. But Jesus completed his work in Peter by restoring him and instructing him to “feed the Lord’s sheep” (John 21:15-17).

Paul Powell, in his book, Jump Starting Dead Churches, lays out three arguments of how we should answer this question should the Lord be asking us, “do you love me?”

  • Love the Lord supremely
  • Love the Lord actively
  • Love the Lord Openly

What a challenge. God wants us to be right with him. He knows that unless he builds the church, the gates of Hell will overcome her. The Spirit is willing to love the Lord supremely, actively and openly. But the flesh is too weak to do this. When we attempt to love the Lord from the works of the flesh we are not strong enough to follow through with our love. We are only strong enough to love the Lord when we repent of trying to love him only in the flesh, and plead with him to strengthen us to love him.

It’s one thing to know the Lord, quite another to be known by the Lord. Where it is important to ask good questions, it is perhaps more important to answer the questions posed by the Lord. “Do you love me?”

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