“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” John 21:17
Listen to this question as if the risen Christ were asking it directly and personally to you. Put your name in there. “______, son of ______, do you love me?”
This is Peter’s commissioning for a life of serving Jesus. And Jesus has one question for a man who is about to launch out into ministry: “Do you love me?” Love for Jesus is the key to sustaining a lifetime of ministry.
Christ doesn’t ask: “Do you believe in me?” Peter had seen the risen Lord. He was the first to recognize Jesus by the shore, and to rush out of the boat. Peter had no doubt that Jesus was the Christ and that He had risen from the dead. But Jesus’ question is not about what Peter believes.
Jesus doesn’t ask: “Are you willing to serve me?” Peter was the kind of man who was always ready to take a risk. He left his nets to follow Christ, and for three years he had shown that he was always ready for a challenge. There is no doubt about this man’s willingness to throw himself into anything that Jesus calls him to do.
Jesus’ question is not: “Do you believe in me?” or “Are you willing to serve me?” but “Do you love me?” This is very significant. Believing in Jesus won’t launch you into ministry, and being willing to get involved won’t be enough to sustain you in ministry. A lifetime of ministry and service will hang on one question: “Do you love me?”
Spend some time talking with Jesus about your answer.