Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do you love Jesus?

Peter is a bit of a ditz at times in Scripture readings. He is also brash and at times quite bold. HE pullS out a sword to defend Jesus when he is arrested in Gethsemane. He of course became the first pope - the Rock, the leader in the church. But when Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me?" Peter's pride seems to get the best of him. Jesus knew that Peter was just a man. He knew that Peter was prone to sin, to fear, to weakness. Of course he loved Jesus, but in a different way than you love your mom or your spouse and Peter had to be shown that he didn't love Jesus the same way that Jesus loved him. It was all part of Jesus' plan for molding Peter into the man that he needed to be for God's purposes.

When I read that Scripture though I can't help but think, do I love Jesus? Last night I was talking with a friend and I assumed that she loves Jesus, so I asked her why - why do you love Jesus? Part of me says it is because Jesus loves us so very much himself. Did you ever think about it though?
Now remember what Peter did to Jesus? He denied knowing him - not just once either, but three times! And what does Jesus do? This is the really remarkable thing. It is remarkable that, rather than chide Peter for denying him, Jesus chose to gently restore Peter by focusing the attention on the one essential of the Christian life - loving Jesus.
I'm not sure the actual reasons why we love Jesus. My friend and I could not come up with a list during our earlier conversation. I do know that I love him though and the big reality of it all is that the details of the Christian life all tend to fall right into place when we actively and truly love Jesus. Think about it.

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