“Lovest Thou Me More Than These”
Conversation between the Bride and the Groom before the marriage ceremony.
So when they had dined, Jesus said to His Bride,
“Church, children of the living God, lovest thou me more than these?”
The Church replied to her Groom,
“Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.”
Jesus saith unto her, “Feed my lambs.”
Jesus said to the Church again the second time,
“Church of the living God, lovest thou me?”
The Church replied to Him, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.”
Jesus said to the Church, “Feed my sheep.”
Jesus said to Church the third time,
“Church, my people who are called by my name, lovest thou me?”
The Church was grieved because He said unto her the third time, Lovest thou me?
And she said unto him, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.”
Jesus saith unto her, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)
In the above passage, Jesus was speaking specifically to Peter, one of His disciples.
I have substituted Peter for the Church.
When looking at the entire chapter we can see quite clearly the implications towards the church.
The Lord at His departure commanded us to go into all the world to preach/teach the gospel, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and whoever believed and baptized are saved (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:19-20).
In other words, we ought to be fishers of men, spreading the good news of salvation and winning souls for Christ.
However, the Church has lost its focus and many of us are busy building our personal lives.
Some of us are busy trying to make ends meet while others are busy accumulating more wealth.
The Church consists of people with many different personalities.
Some people are doubters like Thomas who had to see and feel to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some people are like Peter who when troubles strike quickly give up their faith.
While others remain faithful in prayer and fasting waiting for the rerturn of the Lord.
The Church is divided in their agenda. Hence, the Lord is calling us to unity.
The Lord wants us to seriously consider our relationship with Him.
Do we truly love Him?
Or are we just pretending to love Him when we are gathered together in the church houses.
Three times Jesus asked us, “Lovest thou me more than these?”
Do we love Jesus more than the provisions?
Do we love Jesus more than families and friends?
Do we love Jesus more than our material possessions?
Do we love Jesus more than power and positions?
Do we love Jesus more than money?
Do we love Jesus more than our lives?
How can we prove our love for Jesus?
The Lord said that we can prove our love for Him by feeding His sheep.
This instruction is not only directed to the Pastors and leaders, but to all of us.
We ought to feed the Lord’s sheep.
The sheep is all of us who are called by the name of the Lord. All of us who are followers of Christ.
Thus, it means that we ought to feed each other.
The word feed means to provide nourishing food to others.
It means encouraging each other.
Feeding the sheep also means giving to the poor and helping the less fortunate when it is in the power of our hands to do so.
Jesus said when we give to the poor, clothe and shelter the homeless it is the same as helping Him directly.
By doing all these things we prove our love for Jesus.
Therefore, when the Lord ask us the fourth and last time, “Lovest thou me more than these?”
We can truthfully answer, “Yes Lord, we love you.
Let the marriage ceremony begins!