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Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” John 21:16

In our house we have a little game we play from time to time. One of us will say, “I love you.” The response back will be, “I love you more”. Depending on time and circumstance the game may go on for a few minutes.

“No, I love YOU more!”

“Oh no you don’t. I love YOU more!”

One day the youngest thought she’d settle it once and for all and proclaimed, “I love you the MOSTEST!”

I often wonder about the scene on the beach when Peter and Jesus were reunited. Peter, my favorite disciple, quick to speak, slow to think; a man of action and reaction; a man who saw a problem and a solution (which of course, in his eyes was the ‘right thing to do’) and acted on it.

When you wrong someone that you love very much and you want more than anything else to be reconciled, you go to that person and (in your own words or action) ask “Do you love me?” However you phrase it, what you really want to know is, are we all right? Is the thing I’ve done to you going to end this relationship? Is there any hope?

That scene on the beach must have been incredibly emotional and it’s interesting because Peter isn’t the one asking the question, it’s Jesus. It’s not the offender that seeks the words “I love you” it’s the offended.

There’s a reason for that. Jesus love for Peter wasn’t in question. He knew that regardless of Peter’s answer his answer would be the same. In a sense Jesus was saying, “I love you Peter. I love you more. I love you mostest. There is nothing you have done in your past that will change that. There is nothing you do in the future that will jeopardize that. Do you love me?”

To often we measure love on our terms. We love based on the response of the other person. If I say I love you, and you respond in a like manner, our relationship is good. If I say I love you and it’s not returned a huge red flag goes up.

Every day of our existence Jesus says “Do you love me?” His love for us is never in question. He always supports us, is always loyal to us, is never jealous or rude or selfish. When the Apostle Paul describes love, he describes the love Jesus has for us, “Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (CEV)”

Today, regardless of your past. In spite of the circumstances you are in right now. Whether what you are going through is self-inflicted or the result of someone else. Imagine yourself on the beach. Jesus is standing before you with love pouring from his eyes and asking you, “Do you love me?”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for being so patient with my selfishness, my rebellion, my demands for my own way. Forgive me for the path I’ve chosen. Yes Lord Jesus. I love you…mostest. Amen.

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