Do You Even Love Him?
A few days after Peter’s denials of Christ, the risen Lord sat with the disciples and ate breakfast. When they were finished Jesus turned to Peter and asked him, “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15). This question He asked twice, both times using a form of the word agape, which describes a complete and selfless love. Peter replied to both questions with a much weaker form of the word “love,” saying, “yes Lord you know that I phileo you.” Undoubtedly this deeply grieved Peter, but he was aware of his weakness, and would not boldly profess his undying love for the Savior. A third time Jesus asked, “Peter, do you phileo me?” (John 21:17). But this time Jesus asks as if to say, “Peter, do you even like me?” To which Peter replied, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I phileo you.”
Like Peter we are often quick to profess our endless, perfect love for God. And, like Peter, we are quick to deny Him with our actions or words. We are fortunate, today, that we don’t have to fear death when we profess the name of Christ. But we must fear death if we refuse to obey Him. Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John ). You see, Jesus didn’t require that Peter’s love always be perfect, but He did require him to be His friend.
Are you a friend of Jesus? Are you cleansed of your sins by the blood of the Lamb? You can answer yes when you’ve done what the Bible says you must do. It is simple. Hear the word of God (Romans ). Believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, and that He died for you (John ). Repent of your past sins. (Luke 13:3.) Confess Christ before others (Romans 10:9-10). Be baptized, or fully immersed, in water to wash away your sins (Acts ). Then continue to live in accordance with God’s word for the remainder of your life so that you can receive the reward that has been promised to all who live faithfully (Revelation ). Become Jesus’ friend today!