Do you really love Jesus?
Yesterday we spent time in worship with Peter, the first of the disciples (with his brother) to be called to follow Jesus. Peter is really eager to please, eager to get it right, eager to do amazing things with Jesus… too eager. He falls head over heels in love with Jesus but mostly just falls on his face.
Peter gets a lot wrong, Peter doesn’t understand what is going on, and Peter becomes the voice of the disciples, particularly of their gut instincts and reactions and confusions.
Let us get this straight about the disciples as we think about what it means for us to be called as one of Christ’s disciples, very seldom do they have any idea what is going on. If you are sitting out there and you do not know what God is calling you to – than you are in a really good place because that is the place we find the disciples most of the time.
So what is it that makes Peter, the rock upon which Christ will build the church, brings to the table? What does Jesus see in Peter?
What Peter brings is a commitment to follow Jesus through thick and thin. Again and again in the Gospel accounts Peter doesn’t like things Jesus has to say. Again and again Peter loses faith, or Peter gets confused. But after every set back Peter is right back in the front row with Jesus. Listening, learning, trying, growing.
Peter keeps following Jesus and for all his mistakes Peter never disappears from the story for much more than a moment.
And in Jesus final intimate conversation with Peter in John 21 Jesus makes it very clear to Peter that if you love Jesus you are to show that by loving Jesus people, all people. We cannot love God apart from loving God’s creation – all of it and all of them. We do not love Jesus, “more than these.” We love “these” as an expression of our love of Jesus.