"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.’” John 21:17 NIV
Peter was cut to the heart when Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him. Peter did not know what to say. We, too, know nothing about how to respond to Jesus because we do not understand His ways. Peter did love Jesus and was committed to Him, but he did not know how to follow Him or be identified with Him. Peter needed to see that he was identified with Jesus. Remember, Peter, denied Jesus three times. To deny someone is not to be identified with them at all. Jesus had to bring Peter back, back to love, and a call to move forward.
Christians can follow Jesus when things are easy and going well. We also become fascinated with Jesus. These are all good to a point, but what happens when we are experiencing challenging circumstances where we are pressured, tempted, on trial, and fail Jesus? Often it takes a denying experience like Peter's to get our attention. Then we are confronted by our Lord Jesus to get up and follow Him. Jesus calls our attention at the very core of our heart, like Peter, to know we are identified with Him, we belong to Him, so follow Me!
There is never a time in our life when we are not saying, "Lord, show me your will." We are identified with Christ, and our choices, experiences, and feelings do not change anything. No matter what we experience or even if we deny our Lord, He says, "follow Me."
He is challenging us to ask, "Do you love Me?"
“Lord, thank you that no matter what I do or say, you are always in front of me and calling me to You. I am identified with You and able to do Your will today.”
Our feelings and emotions are never strong enough to keep us from the power and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can make a choice and say, "I will follow You. I am still identified with You, Jesus."
[As adapted from The Bondage Breaker and Stomping Out The Darkness by Dr. Neil Anderson and Dr. Dave Park]