I arrived at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina last night, and I am looking forward to some sun and sand, as I take some time this week for a vacation at the beach. To be with friends and family is truly a gift. It did get me to thinking about the most important conversation on the beach that is in the Bible.
Jesus takes some of the fish the disciples caught, and he makes the world’s first Easter breakfast. I plan on having some fish this week, although it may not be for breakfast. You might envision Jesus getting down on his hands and knees, blowing on briquettes to get a fire going, while washing fishing guts off his hands. After breakfast, Jesus says, “Peter, you got a minute?” And then he asks him, “Do you love me?” Notice what Jesus DOESN’T ask Peter: “Now Peter, in light of how bad you blew it the other night when you denied me, what have you got to say for yourself?” He doesn’t say, “Peter, do you go to church every Sunday?” “Do you contribute generously to the church budget?” “Do you teach a Sunday School class?” “Do you send people cards in the mail?” However, all of those questions pale in comparison to the question that is uppermost in the mind of Jesus Christ. “Do you love me?” Jesus asks only one question, but he asks that one question three times. What is the one thing the Lord wants from us? Love, love and more love.
Friends, you cannot be moderately in love. If you are moderately in love, -- you are not in love! I believe that we are also asked that question by the risen Christ, “Do you love me?” In other words, I think Jesus is asking us, “When you think through the things that are near and dear to you; your parents, your children, your spouse, your friends, your freedom, your country, your skills, your health, your wealth, your appreciation of nature, – where am I in all that? When you look at my cross, when you think of my resurrection, -- do you love me?” What a question! Jesus stands on the beach of the Sea of Galilee and awaits our response to that all important question. So dive in and say, “Yes Lord, I love you!”