(4 of 5) Series: Life's Important Questions Jerry Watts John 21:15-17 Nelson Price is right on point when he makes this statement, ''JESUS CHRIST often endures our embarrassing abuse, denial, and betrayal only to come back compassionately to restore us to an even more meaningful love relationship with Him.'' Jesus formally addressed Peter. Then he had his other duties - reading and so on - very dull. What is the happiest work place? Let us flee - flee from all the dangerous temptations which may beset us in this life. He began his sermon on his text - very dull. That's the main thing of all. They've dined in verse 15; they've had their food. In that period, more importantly than some of the things I've mentioned, He was teaching His disciples the things they needed to know before they scattered throughout the world preaching the Gospel. He says. He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. One of them is surely this. He appeared, for instance, to Mary Magdalene, to some women and perhaps others too, but now this is the third time our Lord had appeared specifically to His disciples gathered in a group. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. You remember, he thrice - or three times - denied that he knew Jesus Christ. I never met the man." He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I … So the order of events was this. First of all, he did not listen sufficiently to Christ's warning. I won't be dogmatic but that's the way it appears to me. He had kindled a fire, and this fire was a very pungent reminder to Peter of another fire at which, as I said earlier, he was foolishly, carelessly, prayerlessly, warming his hands. Not that you should praise Him, simply, or that you should claim to have some allegiance to Him in some way or other - all of that is good enough - but what He most challenges in you tonight is: Do you love Him? And when they had dined, Jesus turned to Simon Peter and said, “Simon, lovest thou Me more than these?” [John 21:15]. It was because if you don't love Christ you have no relationship with Him. Anyway, that's the way things were. This of course was a miracle. Do you love God? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. But oh, let us pray to God in faith that He would command in the words He gives us here, "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. Look at the contrast; I want to draw a lesson from that. Notice what it is in particular that Christ is looking for in Simon Peter. Then, when he summons them to the meal, He confronts Peter with this fire. But even those who love Christ, and are genuine Christians, at times through weakness, they can let the Lord down. Just as in marriage, love is the main thing. - in other words. I'm ready to lay down my life for you!" Christ was in one of these rooms being tried, again and again and again and again, as we know. He was an exhorter, not a preacher. The answer is: where there is most love. 15. If he were alive with us today, Peter would say, "Those were the worst days of my life." With oaths and curses Peter says, "I tell you! That is everything. He was a good, godly, Christian man. John 21:15-17, Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 13. I may say, just about every one of these disciples was martyred. It's the difference I suppose between a London accent and a Scottish accent - you'd tell the difference quite quickly. He did not say, “Simon, son of Jonas, fearest thou me.” He did not say, “Dost thou admire me? All the three Persons of the Godhead can be characterised like that - filled with divine love - and that's what they most desire. Love is everything between Christ and the soul. He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. Faith, if we have it, is a sure and certain sign that we are God’s children; and so is every other grace a sure and certain one, but many of them cannot be seen by others. Then the following Lord's Day, as we call it - the first day of the week, the Christian Sabbath - our Lord appeared to the eleven, including Thomas - that very famous appearance in which He told Thomas, "Reach hither thy fingers and put them into my hand, and reach here your hand and put it into my side" where the spear wound was, and he said, very wonderfully, "My Lord and my God!" Let me explain how this is done. Is there any answer? It is possible for good, godly, and Christian people to deny the Lord Jesus Christ. One or the other - there's no standing in between. "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? Well, he did his best. The last and third thing before I close, is this. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. I don't think that was accidental. He saith to him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? "Simon, are you still prepared to work for me?" He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. Do you remember, in the high priest's courtyard when Jesus was being placed on trial on the Thursday night, Simon Peter had been warned and yet he had followed Christ afar off? Yes, thank God, there is. This is now the third, and it was up in the north, in Galilee. He saith unto Him, "Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I … He had come into the courtyard below where there was a fire. Peter was grieved because he said to Him the third time, "Lovest thou me?" Let me read verse 17: "He saith unto him a third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" Another one is this. That's what our Lord challenges: He looks for love in the souls of His people. Oh, my friends, our Lord knows how to humble His people when they sin against Him. The disciples just witnessed another miraculous event as Christ supplied fish for their catch. As far as we know, He never appeared to any unbeliever but only to his own people, which indeed is a foretaste of heaven itself. (As you can read this page, you can view HTML format files on this computer.). I especially take for my text these words: "lovest thou me". 'What's the difference?' He felt it was too much, surely, to use this high word, so he uses a lower word. "Crucify me upside down," he said. Peter hadn't taken heed to those warnings. (We're talking about verses 15, 16 and 17.) Well, I'll go on - just one thing further. You can't have some sort of minor or lesser affection for Christ. There were six trials in total - not all of them in the high priest's palace, but some of them were. But he sinned and fell as a Christian I think we can say at least for two reasons. That's where the church is. A little bit later another woman came along, a young woman - a maid, she's called, which might just mean that she's a young unmarried girl - and she said, "Surely you're one of those because your speech indicates that; you have a Galilean accent." The Lord Jesus Christ appears at the edge, or on the shore, if you like, of the Sea of Galilee, the Sea of Tiberias, on this morning, when the disciples had been fishing. God is love. Oh, let thy glory appear in our land! - Many things to learn. Can you imagine the rush of emotions to his conscience, the flood of feeling? Rend the heavens, and come down and show to this nation what manner of God thou art. – So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? This is Jesus’ third appearance to His disciples following His resurrection. This was just a farmhouse with a few people in it, and Richard Williams was there; there was a cold, hard atmosphere. It was in spite of the political opposition in Russia, in China and elsewhere. He's reminding us there, of course, that where love is amongst people in any society upon earth then the spirit of heaven comes down. No wonder it stung him. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs" (John 21, 15). Now may grace, mercy and peace from Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you all. Terry Pace Lovest Thou Me More Than These He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. The preacher was a man called Richard Williams. He saith unto him, "Feed My lambs." three times. It's the one where there is the most love. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes." "Lord, you know that I like you." John chapter 21 says: “ So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? Simon Peter denied our Lord Jesus Christ as somebody who was a believer, somebody who loved Christ but through weakness of his flesh he let our Lord and himself down and he brought shame upon himself. - "Lovest thou me?" They take a meal, and nobody dares to say to Him, "Who art thou?" Ernie Haase & Signature Sound - Official Video for “Lovest Thou Me (More Than These)? Are you so sleepy you cannot watch with me one hour? Where love is, everything else will be. Above all, when it comes to God and to Christ, love is the main thing. And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. You see, my friends, our Lord will challenge the love of His people's heart. 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