Christ Still Asks: “Do You Love Me?”

John 21: 14 – 17

Jesus often endures our embarrassing abuse, denial, and betrayal only to come back compassionately to restore us to an even more meaningful love relationship with Him.

On the eve of His crucifixion His disciples showed no staying power when pressure was applied by the accusing Romans who came to arrest Him in Gethsemane. They became instant mutineers. They were a disgrace to their declared devotion as they fled for their lives.

Commitment is the capacity to carry out the intent of a decision long after the emotion that inspired it has faded.

Let’s review the aftermath of the disciples’ disgraceful debacle in Gethsemane. Observe various parts of the interchange and see their significance.

Jesus said, “unto them, come and dine” (Vs. 12). The expression “unto them” is dative of advantage, meaning it was to their advantage to do as invited.  Whatever Christ asks us to do is always to our advantage.

In the Greek text “come” is a participle of exhortation. It was the strongest word of instruction He could use.

It is plural and thus the invitation was to all the disciples.

The appeal to “dine” is in the imperative mood, noting it as a command.

It is aorist tense, inferring it was to have future results.

The active voice stresses that each must do it for himself.

These same principles are inherent in all of Christ’s invitations to us.

Jesus had a fire built (Vs. 9). Biblically, fire always spoke of judgment. Jesus pictorially walked to the fire, typifying the fact He, too, was their, and our judgment on Calvary.

Bread was provided by Christ. Bread had always symbolized basic provisions. Christ “gave” it to them. This is emblematic of His provisions for us. His provisions make us operative.

Fish were also provided. Fish were a longstanding symbol of productivity.

Judgment always comes first. The fire was foremost.

Next, He provides provisions that enable us to act. He makes our productivity possible.

Jesus posed a question applicable to us: “Do you love me?”

After this and other encounters with the resurrected Christ, these cowering disciples became changed people. At the peril of their lives they went out and changed the world. Their transformed lives is one of the best proofs of the resurrection. People would not risk their lives to defend a lie or for that matter a disgraced dead man. He was alive and that gave their lives purpose. It does the same for people today. 

He is Immanuel, God with us — daily. He still asks, “Do you love me?”  What is your answer?