Apostle Peter, Do You Love Me More? How much do you love Jesus in comparison to others? Have you ever analyzed this thought? Actually, do you love him more than your job or business? Do you love Jesus more than money? How about your time, your family, your marriage? Where does Jesus number in your list of the loves of your life? Do you love him?
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 6
by Delbert Young
Apostle Peter, Do You Love Me More? (Luke 6:12-16)
Do You Love Me More than These? – Luke 6:12-16
Scriptures: Luke 6:12-16; Luke 5:8; Matthew 18:21; Matthew 16:16-18; Matthew 16:21-22; Matthew 16:23; Matthew 14:29; Matthew 26:31; Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:3; John 21:15-17; Luke 14:26-27; John 21:18-19
Luke 6:12-16 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.
We are taking a little time to learn something about these men who became world changers. One thing we are learning is they were very much like us. They each had strengths, weaknesses, unique personalities, temperaments, flaws, and sins. They all had failures and they all had successes. They were in their day like we are today.
We’ve talked about how God must use incapable unqualified people because that’s the only kind of people he has to use. Think about this: other than Jesus Christ, everything God has accomplished on this planet has been accomplished with incapable unqualified people. The work of God is always spiritually divine, supernatural, miraculous, and eternal. Natural human beings have no capacity to do those things. So, if a God is to accomplish spiritual, supernatural, miraculous, and eternal work using people, something dramatic must happen to the person. They must be transformed and God is in the transforming business transforming and using unqualified people to do critical things.
For example: God’s world changer Noah became passed out naked and drunk in his tent; Abraham lied and impregnated a woman who was not his wife; Jacob was an extortionist who extorted his brother’s birthright; Moses was a murderer full of anger; Aaron, God’s first high priest, made a golden calf to worship; Sampson was a womanizer turning his back on the Spirit for a woman; David was an adulterer, a murderer, and a failure as a father; Elijah cowered before Jezebel; Jonah defied God’s instructions and it required a large fish to convince him to do what God said; Paul said late in his life he was the chief of sinners; Peter denied he even knew Jesus, not once, but three times. However, God transformed each of them to do something spiritual, supernatural, and eternal.
The point is that’s how it is in the kingdom. We should all feel at home there. It’s where God transforms natural humans – you and me – to do spiritual, supernatural, and eternal things. So, how has and is God transforming you? What has he transformed you to do that is spiritual, supernatural, and with eternity in it? I had someone tell me a story this past week about someone coming to him expressing how his teaching a Royal Rangers A/G class thirty years ago changed his life. That changed life is a pastor today. God takes us with all our inadequacies, faults, and sins to transform us to do something eternal.
What we learn is it’s not the person. It’s how God used the person. Jesus said John the Baptist was the greatest man who ever lived prior to those who enter Christ kingdom (Luk7:28). It wasn’t because of John’s wardrobe, his diet, his education, his house, or his pulpit. It was because of how God used him. What made John the Baptist great anyway? He announced the arrival of the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Lamb who would take away the sins of the world. That’s how God used him and that’s why he was great. It’s how God used Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Sampson, David, Elijah, Jonah, Paul, Peter, etc. that made them remarkable and capable of doing spiritual, supernatural, and eternal things. It’s not the person. It is how the person allows God to transform them.
Luke 6:14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,)…
Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees…
We often read Simon Peter. A great way to understand this is Simon who Jesus is transforming to Rock – Peter (Petros) meaning Rock. Simon Peter is mentioned more than any other person in the gospels except Jesus. As we saw last time, Simon Peter is named first in all four listings of the apostles (Mat 10; Mar 3; Luk 6; Act 1). Jesus called Simon Peter to be the leader of his apostles (Mat 10:2), but Simon had to transform to Rock to accomplish the task. To do this, Jesus called him Simon when he was not allowing God to transform him. Jesus called him Rock (Peter) when Peter was allowing God to transform him.
Simon was a natural leader. There’s a God-given quality some people seem born with that makes them a natural leader. It’s woven into them while in their mother’s womb (Psa 139:15). That was Simon. Jesus transformed those natural leader qualities into the spiritual leader, Rock (Peter). The Lord will transform the qualities already woven into us from natural to spiritual, supernatural, and eternal Let’s take a look at some leadership qualities God transformed.
Simon was inquisitive. A leader always asks a lot of questions. Curiosity is critical to leadership. A leader is never content with what they don’t know, don’t understand, or with problems they haven’t solved. The one who has the information has the lead, but it’s not so much they acquire information so they can lead. It’s more their inquisitiveness acquires information and because they have information, they lead. When a child is inquisitive like that, they are leader bound. Parents and people grow weary answering question after question by an inquisitive child. Other children sit quietly. The quiet children will work for the inquisitive kid one day. Simon Peter asked more questions than all the other apostles combined. Here’s one.
Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Good question and I thought a very good answer, but according to Jesus it’s “seventy times” or “seventy times seven” meaning there is no limit. What we see is Simon became inquisitive about spiritual things. Be inquisitive about what God wants you to do. Ask questions. Go online.
Simon had initiative. You’ve heard it said some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen and some people ask, “What happened?” People who make things happen have initiative. As Simon transformed into Rock, he took initiative. Simon not only asked questions. His initiative caused him to correctly answer the questions Jesus asked. We talked about this passage last time, but we will use it again. Jesus asked all the disciples who people say he is. They said John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, a prophet. Jesus asked, “But who do you say I am?”
Matthew 16:16-18 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that YOU ARE PETER [ROCK], and on this ROCK [PETER] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Simon grabbed initiative as the others were still processing the question. Simon was transforming into Rock (Peter). He was becoming spiritual and able to hear Father. Upon that transformation, Jesus could build the spiritual, supernatural, and eternal church. A person taking initiative will cut off ears, try to walk on water, and get in trouble, but through it all, they transform into a great leader. A leader has to charge ahead fearlessly. Rock became bold in his initiative. It’s the Rock (Peter) who stood fearlessly and preached Jesus in the very city that executed his Lord and before the Sanhedrin. Take initiative concerning what God has called you to do. Let’s talk about it, but go forward fearlessly. But, when we think we’ve got this transforming thing figured out…
Matthew 16:21-22 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to REBUKE HIM. “NEVER, LORD!” HE SAID. “THIS SHALL NEVER HAPPEN TO YOU!”
Matthew called him “Peter” in his gospel, but that’s not what Jesus is about to call him. Simon transforming to Peter said, “Bad idea Lord. I’m the leader and I’m not going to allow that to happen to you – Never! Read my lips, Lord. It will never happen.” He thinks he’s got it figured out.
Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
That statement by Jesus must have rung in Peter’s ears until he died. It’s rough when we realize we are as available to Satan’s use as we are to the Lord’s. We all are, even Simon Peter. The greater a person’s potential to be used by God, the greater the person’s potential to be used by Satan. Simon was allowing Satan to use him to trip Jesus with his theology. Rock can receive great revelation – “You are the Christ the Son of God,” but could as easily be used by Satan. “Never Lord!” Simon transforming to Rock was a work in progress just as we are.
Simon was involved. Simon was always involved in the action. We remember the story about Jesus walking on water. Simon had to be involved in the action asking if he could try.
Matthew 14:29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Rock got out of the boat. No one else tried. People criticize Simon Peter for sinking who won’t get out of the boat themselves. Leaders understand. Sometimes you sink, but Jesus will always pull you out. Yes, Simon denied knowing the Lord three times, but at least he was there involved. Where were the other apostles?
Be involved someplace. Jump in. Sure, you might sink, but if you remain close to Jesus, if you sink he will pull you out. Leaders live their lives in a cloud of dust. At least make your cloud. Leaders hate to say, “We have a problem,” love to say, “We had a problem. Here is how I solved it.” Solve your problem.
Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter replied, “EVEN IF ALL FALL AWAY on account of you, I NEVER WILL.” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me THREE TIMES.” But Peter declared, “EVEN IF I HAVE TO DIE WITH YOU, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Simon Peter said, “Wrong again Lord. There you go again talking about that death stuff. I am the leader. I love you more than these do. I will never deny you. They might, but not me” Jesus said, “Yes you will. In fact, you will deny me three times and it will happen in the next few hours before sunrise.” Peter said, “Not me. You’re wrong, Lord. I love you so much, I’ll die first.” So, after the rest…
Matthew 26:69-75 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But HE DENIED IT before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” HE DENIED IT AGAIN, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I DON’T KNOW THE MAN!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me THREE TIMES.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Simon, who Jesus is transforming to Rock (Peter), learned he could not trust himself. He could not trust his own strength or self-confidence. This traumatic experience shaped Peter.
None of us can trust ourselves. We will all deny Jesus in the right circumstances in word or deed and we all have. How many times has the rooster crowed in our heads? It should have been traumatic. Traumatic times shape us. It’s part of the transformation experience.
Jesus told the apostles to meet him in Galilee after the resurrection. They went, but the Lord tarried. Has he ever done that to you? He didn’t show up when you thought he should. It’s part of the transformation process. Here’s what happened.
John 21:3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
That wasn’t a simple recreational fishing trip. Simon Peter decided to stop this ministry business and go back to his fishing business. Simon Peter determined he didn’t want to do ministry anymore. It was too much. Anyway, he denied the Lord. He’s going back fishing and the others are following him, so, of course, God wouldn’t allow them to catch anything. Jesus showed up early that morning and told them to throw their net on the right side of the boat. They caught a major catch. Realizing he must be Jesus, Simon Peter dove into the water and swam to Jesus.
John 21:15-17 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.” 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.” 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.
Jesus said “Simon son of John,” not Rock, son of God. Simon returned to his old self. Why do you suspect Jesus asked the same question three times? Could it be because Simon Peter denied Jesus three times? Simon told the Lord in the room before the arrest he loved him more than the others. The others would fall away, but he would never fall away. Jesus asked, “Really? Do you truly love me more than these?” Because what you love you feed, you tend, you serve, and to that you minister. If you really love me, show me.
I’ve heard preachers say Jesus was asking if he loved the fish and his fishing business more than him. That’s probably incorporated, but I believe the question is in comparison to how much he loved others. He’s saying, “Peter, you’re my leader. Were you serious when you said no matter what the others did, you would die for me? Do you really love me more than these? I want you to take care of my sheep. You can try fishing if you want, but I’ll see to it, you will catch nothing.”
How much do you love Jesus in comparison to others? Have you ever analyzed that thought? Actually, do you love him more than your job or business? Do you love Jesus more than money? How about your time, your family, your marriage? Where does Jesus number in your list of the loves of your life? By looking at that, you can see if a transformation is happening, or if you’re simply playing a religious game.
Luke 14:26-27 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Does Jesus want us to hate our family? No. His context is he must be our first love and the love of our life. If a transformation is truly taking place in my life, he must be my first love. We live in a time of self-love and selfishness, loving these more than Jesus. Jesus said we must die to self (cross). He must be first in the loves of our life.
John 21:18-19 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.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Stretch out your hands was an expression of crucifixion. Jesus told him how he would die. Peter was crucified upside down at his request in Rome under Nero’s reign. It is said Peter said he was not worthy to be crucified right side up as was his Lord.
Simon did transform into Rock. Rock was faithful until death. Peter became the leader Jesus wanted him to be. He led the church preaching the gospel on the Day of Pentecost in the very city that crucified his Lord. The first twelve chapters of the Book of Acts are full of Peter. Had it not been for Peter who knows what would have become of the church and Christianity? Simon son of Jonas became the Rock, the apostle of Jesus Christ.
From whom is God attempting to transform you from and to? When you look, how much difference do you see from the person you were when Jesus called you and the person you are today? How much do you love Jesus? Do you love him more than these? If so, are you doing what he asked you to do? Two weeks ago, most of us committed to doing whatever we could to make Life Gate the extraordinary church God called it to be. Again, what have you done toward that this week? How much do you love Jesus? Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” Peter do you love me more than these?
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