“Do you love Me?”
Can you imagine Jesus asking you today what He asked Peter, His disciple, 2000 years ago? Even worse, He asked him, “Do you love Me more than these?” In other words, do you love Me more than what you love most, which, for Peter, was fishing. Not only that, but holy smokes, John 21 records that Jesus asked Peter this three times (!), leading him to his embarrassed confession, (revealed only in the Greek language), “You know that...I am fond of you.”
Now, this is not about shame or us feeling guilty that we don’t do more for God. In this confrontation, Jesus is enticing Peter to put first things first, to love Him more than the “stuff” of life. Enticing.
The Apostle Paul knew loving Jesus is hard because of the stuff of life...“lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11.3).
Just love Jesus. It seems so embarrassingly simple.
Do you realize what we get, that most people don’t get? We get the chance to simply sit at Jesus’ feet. We get to look with childlike wonder at a God who calls Himself, “Father.” (If you’re a parent, go gaze at your child while he or she sleeps and let that sink in a little). We get to have a lump in our throat as we gaze upon Jesus crucified with the astonishment that “God so loved the world...” That God so loved...me.
I get to love Jesus.
The Martha & Mary story illustrates this (Luke 10:38-42). Jesus told Martha that this is the “one thing” that really matters. It’s the one priority in life that simply cannot be neglected. I think this “one thing” was something more than the duty and obligation to merely read the Bible. The clutter of life didn’t matter to Mary; she couldn’t take her eyes off Jesus.
Because here’s the thing about people in love. They don’t do things because they’re supposed to. They don’t write poems, buy roses, or write mushy love songs out of “ought.” They gaze into their beloved’s eyes because they want to. And to those who are in love, nothing else in life really matters all that much.
So why do we get this so twisted around?
Should do less, to gaze more? Could it be that what He wants from me, today, is simply to enjoy Him?
Simple devotion to Jesus is the secret to living a bold witness before a lost and dark world. It’s what our world needs from us. But simple devotion to Jesus is what we need more than anything else; it is the one thing. It is what our souls were made for. It’s what we have been wired for.
G.K. Chesterton put it this way:
“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.”
There is something attractive and powerful about a person in love, a person so caught up in the relationship that nothing else really matters.
Blog writing ®John Hever. Unless otherwise stated, photos are not the original creative works of John Hever. To access the website of h2o church, go to www.h2ochurch.org.