Jesus had to ask Peter three times: “Do you love me?” Peter answered, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” – John 21:17
What if Jesus were right here, right in front of me – right in front of you – asking, “Do you love me?” Would I be able to say to Jesus, “Lord, you know that I love you?” Does my God, who absolutely knows all things, know that I love Him? Does it show?
How would it show? What would let Jesus know that I really love Him? Immediately my mind jumps to Him and His love. I know deep in my soul that Jesus loves me. I look back on my life and I see such clear and intimate evidence of God’s love for me. It was His love that made me love Him.
Jesus’ gift of salvation, the sacrifice of His life for the forgiveness of my sins, is the resounding and absolute assurance to me – intellectually, emotionally and spiritually – that I am deeply and eternally loved by the Holy One, the Lord of all Creation. I was only seven, a very hurting little girl, when Jesus interrupted my life with His salvation. I learned that my Heavenly Father loves me beyond what I could ever imagine and would love me for all time. And always and only in good and right ways. And it made me love Him.
As a saved seven-year-old little girl, I was given a Bible and sensed the presence of Jesus – God’s Word made flesh – with me every time I read His Word. Jesus interrupted the truth of my painful world, by opening His Word of Truth to me. Each time I opened and read my Bible, I sensed Jesus sitting with me, talking to me, teaching me, helping me, growing me. Loving me. And it made me love Him.
That I’m even alive today is the most tangible evidence of all that Jesus loves me. Jesus interrupted my plan to kill myself when the abuse in my family and being raped by a stranger absolutely ripped away the very last shred of any hope that life was worth living. I planned suicide as my only way to escape this ugly, evil, broken, hateful world. God had a much better – death-interrupting, life-transforming – loving plan. And it made me love Him.
It is the love of Jesus – the Living Messiah, God’s beloved Son, my Savior and Lord – that has completely transformed my life. It is Jesus who, out of His full and outrageous love for me, passionately and persistently keeps interrupting me to bring about His deep and oh-so-necessary transforming work in me – in my thoughts, in my words, in my actions, in my reactions, in my relationships – every day of my life! And it makes me love Him even more.
So, if Jesus were right here, right in front of me asking, “Do you love me?” My answer would be, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love you. But only because You first loved me!”
We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
Jesus interrupts my life to make me love others, and want to love others, as He has loved me. This is how I show Jesus my love. This is how Jesus wants my love for Him to show.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. – Galatians 5:6