|설교 한 주일||September 18, 2011|
(Reading of John 21:15-23 – NIV)
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)
21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
Jesus gave some food – roasted fishes – to His disciples when they failed to catch some fish in their lives because they were thinking that Jesus was gone as He had been crucified so they went back to their own position of their livelihood. As they were fishermen, they went down to Galilee to catch fish but unfortunately and at the same time fortunately, they didn’t catch any fish. To their very big disappointment, Jesus Christ appeared before the disciples and then showed them how to get some more fish. That is how Jesus did for the disciples, gave them some fish in their lives.
After that, Simon Peter recognized Jesus Christ, “Jesus, my Lord!” – Imagine if your father or grandfather or somebody who already died returned and then standing before you, how that person might make you so fearsome. Maybe my father returned to me, which is impossible I know, but I have one question to my father. Do you have any question to your passed parents if you have? I have one simple question to my father if he could hear my voice. – So, when they had finished eating, Jesus gave some fish; actually, the fish which Jesus already prepared. He never got the fish from the fishing net of the disciples. Jesus prepared the fish and some loaves of bread.
As you know, Simon Peter is the most wanted figure for the students especially in Summer Camp because Peter is so famous in Sunday school even in our Christianity, in our beliefs. Why he is that famous? – Because he had a passion. Peter is actually a fan of Jesus Christ. He followed Jesus. If Jesus was facing a situation, even Peter wants to cover up and protect Jesus Christ because he loved and was fond of Jesus Christ. He did everything. So, Jesus Christ asked Simon, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” Everybody can say ‘do you love me’. If my wife would ask me, “Moksanim, do you love me?” “Of course!” automatically I answer. It’s very easy to answer if somebody asked you or you are asked to answer, “Do you love me?” The problem is the next word ‘more than’. “Daddy, do you love me more than Mommy?” That is very hard question to answer if Hanna asks me, “Do you love me more than you love mother?” Well, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Do you really love me?”
There are thousand ways to love. Maybe you can say ‘I love you’ but there are thousand ways to love. I don’t know in the Philippines what is the way to love. Maybe you give some gift, maybe you go picnic with him or her or you exchange rings, whatever. There are 101 ways to love I got from internet and I read it through. It’s meaningful, of course, if you think that love is associated with a man’s life or human being. One of the ways is exercise together; go swimming; go shopping for food; go sightseeing; go out dancing; play music together…or maybe more than this way, you may put other way how I would show that I love somebody. First of all, if you really fall in love show him/her to the people. There’s no secret in love. If you don’t like to show it, if you don’t like to reveal it, then love has some problem. If you love somebody who has another spouse, that’s problem. That’s not in love, that’s only passion.
Many people say that they love Jesus. In our church today, everybody says ‘I love Jesus’. But in John 21, Jesus asked Simon Peter, the son of John, would love Jesus more than these. Well, in the loving relationship with the Lord in the church, Jesus shows how to love Him. We need to love our God according to the way that Bible shows. If you love somebody, you have to consider somebody. You like pizza. You love your girlfriend. You will give her pizza which your girlfriend doesn’t like? That’s somehow wrong. If you really love Jesus, I want you to know the way that God allow us or showed us to love Jesus. Do you think you love God by bringing some money to Jesus? I would say no.
How the Bible says today? First is M; second is W; and third is M. What MWM symbolizes? We can see in verse 15, M is ‘more than.’ Let us don’t put anything in between God and us. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me more than…?” Brothers and sisters, when you are talking about love we have to remember this request or this limited word Jesus has spoken to us – more than. We love just like if you love Jesus Christ, the way you love other things – the way you love the flower, the way you love your food, the way you care your pet or dog. Somehow, that is wrong. So, Jesus said, “…You love me more than these?” It’s not clear in the Bible what ‘these’ is but also it doesn’t matter. Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” which means we can interpret it “I want that there will be nothing between you and me.” It says, ‘more than these’ – more than your desire, more than your future, more than what you have, more than your possessions, more than yourself. Jesus asked Simon Peter for three times, “Do you really love me more than these?” This is the same question even today which Jesus asks to us. Jesus asks to you and me, “Do you really love me more than these?” Brothers and sisters, let us don’t say ‘I love you, Lord’ only. That’s one way to escape love Jesus Christ only. Everytime you say Jesus, I hope and I pray that you would pray more than anyone, more than anybody. That’s how Jesus asked to be loved by ourselves.
Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my lambs.” Please don’t be mixed up. ‘My lambs’ means the lamb of Jesus. God loves His own lambs. Jesus died because of His lambs. Jesus asked for three times, “Feed my lambs because I am leaving now.” ‘More than’ is very strongly connected word in feeding of His lamb. If you love something more than you do love Jesus, there is no way you feed the lamb of God. To love Jesus is to feed His lambs.
Second is the W based on verse 18; it says, “You will…” Please do not misinterpret ‘will’; it means future tense. I would like to say that ‘will’ is willingly, with all your effort, “I will! Yes, because that is my call. I love you Lord because that is my call. Brothers and sisters, Jesus said to Peter, “You will stretch out your hands…” Do you know the meaning of ‘will stretch out’? It’s what verse 18 says, “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands…” “You will stretch out…before you just use your hands for your own in order to dress yourself but the time when you really love in this way, you will stretch your hands out so somebody nail you. You love me so you will stretch your hands out so they nail you…” That’s how Jesus showed us to love Him. “Because I love you, yes, of course I am willingly to die for Jesus…because I love you more than anything…you saved me, the wretch! I’m willingly, I would die for you. My life came from you; of course you can take my life because it’s yours.”
When you see 1 Corinthians, Apostle Paul said, “I die every day…” When you say the good shepherd in John 10:11, “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep…” In loving Jesus willingly, we open and stretch our arms and hands in order to show that we love Jesus.
The last but not the least is M. This is based on verse 22, “You Must”. There’s no option in loving Jesus. “You must follow me. You said you love me more than everything so you follow me…” Twice it was said in the Bible – verse 19 says, “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” and then verse 22 says, “Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” In loving Jesus, there are three ways that Jesus showed us on how to love Him. No option because there is no way – only Jesus who loved me, only Jesus who died for me – so I have his life, that I live every day. It’s not by my own life but His life. He shed on the cross that we have in our faith. Brothers and sisters, no option and of course there’s no other way. To love Jesus is to follow His way without fail…without stoppage… just must follow…everybody, if you believe in Jesus, if you would say you love Jesus.
MWM stands for love more, more than anything; second is love willingly; and third, you must love Jesus only. That’s how Jesus showed us today when he asked Simon Peter for His calling again before He was leaving to heaven. This question is the same as being asked to us today. I hope and pray that your answer would be the same, “Yes, Lord! Yes, Lord! I love you more than anything. I carry my own cross. I would carry willingly. I must definitely follow the way you went.” This is the way how Jesus showed us to love Him. May God bless us.
Rev. David Bang