“Do you love me…more than THESE?” John 21: 15
I’d like to continue with this midrash, but just to concentrate on Yeshua’s statement; “Do you love me more than these?”
We understand that the “sheep” and the “lambs” are symbolic of older and younger believers, not so much physical age-wise but in spiritual maturity. Those that are young in the faith need just as much guidance as the older and more mature believers, guided by rabbis, pastors, Torah teachers, Sunday School teachers, etc…
But what do we think about the beginning of the conversation that Yeshua had with Simon Peter?
“ Shimon Bar Yonas (Simon, Son of Jonas) do you love me more than these?”
We might ask, “Who or what are THESE?” What could Yeshua be referring to? Remember that Kefas (Peter) was with a few of the disciples and that they had just returned from a very good fishing trip, thanks to the Messiah Yeshua. There they were and Yeshua had some roasted fish on the coals, plus the 153 fish they had just caught in the net.
Two possibilities. Yeshua was referring to his fellow disciples. “Kefa, do you love me more than you love your fellow fishermen here?’ or, He might have been referring to the fish; “Kefa, do you love me more than your job as a fisherman?” His last words were; “Follow me!”
We might ask ourselves the same question. Do we love the LORD more than our fellow man? More than our jobs and professions? Not that we are going to abandon our wives/husbands and children to run off and start preaching somewhere, nor are we going to just “up and quit” jobs and go and stand on the street and start preaching. God may never ask that of you. Your ministry might just stay where you are and be a witness at your present job, and witness to your family members, teach those who are not so mature and pray for those who are lost.
HOWEVER…If in some way, God has directed you, through circumstances and through other people, to indeed quit your profession or job and “follow Him” into a full-time ministry, would you be willing to answer that call? Would you be willing to leave the comfort of relatives, friends, a big home, a nice car, to go somewhere where living would not be so comfortable in order to follow HIM? To teach HIS Word to others who would be willing to hear? Simon Kefa answered the call, and it cost him his life, as it did with all of his followers in that time period.
Just how much do we love God? That would be a question only you could answer, and perhaps, only time will tell.
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