I am reminded this week of Christ’s words to Peter just before He left him for the last time. “Do you love me?” He asked. It seemed almost rhetorical. “Yes,” Peter said. I’m sure Peter didn’t expect Jesus to ask again, and again. And the third time totally and completely touched this man’s heart to the very core. It riveted him. One can nearly feel the emotional weight of the question–of Peter’s grief that although he sinned, this God-man was willing to reinstate the love and sow into Peter’s heart the seeds of mercy and forgiveness.
It’s the same question He asks of us over and over again. These challenges in our lives are not without purpose; not without reason; not without response. They are set in place so that we will be frustrated by them and find our broken hearts at a crossroad. Then He reinstates us with His simple, but profound words.
“Do you love me?” He asks.
It is rhetorical. Christ knows the answer. He wants us to know it and to own it. He wants our hearts to be His.
“Yes Jesus, I do. Please show me how to love you better.”
My answer is humble and simple, but in it bears the weight of responsibility. It’s time to feed the sheep.