I have clear memories of my grade 4 teacher in primary school teaching us that the best way to remember how verbs work is to describe them as "doing words". In our Gospel reading this morning Jesus teaches Peter about perhaps the most important verb of all. Three times he asks Peter ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?
Jesus’ questions to Peter are a reversal of his three denials of Jesus and a sign to him that he is loved and forgiven. Peter may have let him down but Jesus as always looks past his failings and gives him what he needs to realise his full potential. Jesus wants Peter to know that love is about far more than making great claims. Love is shown best through faithfulness and action.
‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’ John 21:15-17
It’s as if Jesus were saying “If you really love me Peter show me by the way you live your life.” In the same way Jesus calls us to not only talk about love but to be people who put our love into action in the way that we share it with others.
Till next time. Andrew
This week's readings; Acts 9:1-20, Psalm 30, Revelation 5:6-14, John 21:1-19
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Rev. Andrew Smith
Vicar of Light in the Hills