Friday, February 5, 2010

Lord, You Know That I Love You!

I have just finish reading the Gospel of John for a course I am taking. John writes so beautifully and poetically right from the very first verse, "In the beginning was the Word..." we have Jesus the Lamb of God, Jesus the Good Shepherd, Jesus the Bread of Life, Jesus the Way the Truth and the Life, Jesus the Vine and the Branches, Jesus the Resurrection and the Life. There are two passages that bring me to tears every time I read them. The first is John 11: 1-44, the Raising of Lazarus. There are so many moving and wonderful dialogue its hard to say where to begin. For instance "This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it." Here Jesus emphatically states his purpose and explains to the reader why he would wait two days before visiting "he whom you love" as Lazarus is described. The following dialogue between Jesus and Martha is so authentic and touching that if you place yourself in the scene as an observer a bystander you can feel the emotions of Martha, full of grief that her brother has died, a little perplexed that Jesus has taken so long and attempting to walk around the edges in her conversation with Jesus. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (where were you?) And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."(She eases up a little bit, hinting that Jesus might have something yet to do) Jesus answers almost as a matter of fact "Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." He is about to show the power and the glory of God but his reply suggest that perhaps he is testing Martha. Martha tells Jesus that she is confident in his resurrection Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." The power of the truth and the fact that we as believers can confidently trust Jesus Christ comes forth in his reply: Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. That line brings me to tears, because I know in my heart that either I am following a madman and that couldn't possibly be, or I am following Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God who has assured me of eternal life! All my hopes and dreams are wrapped in those words, every breath I take, every day I wake up is wrapped in the hope of those beautiful words, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. And then Jesus turns and faces you and I the observer of what just took place, the ears that just heard those beautiful words, Do you believe this? I do, just as Martha does when she answers She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."

The next passage that so moves me is , Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea.
I love Peter so much. Peter knows who Christ really is and he so much wants forgiveness. Peter truly is the heart of all Christians who desire to follow Jesus, we want dive into the water and swim to him, we need his love so. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. Jesus the Bread of Life wants to feed his disciples once more. Now is the climax when Jesus calls Peter to fulfill his role: When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He 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." ( he asks the same question to you and me and dare I say that I passionately reply you know I love you!) He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved ( his love for Jesus was spilling over and how could Jesus not know) 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
The Gospel of John is so powerful and touches the very heart of me. He gives us Jesus the Lover who so much wants us all to be with Him!

1 comment:

Maria Isabel said...

Brother Paul,

what wonderful passages you have selected and indeed so beautiful to read and to meditate on. I too, love Peter as he is as you said, who we are in wanting to love Jesus and run to Him every time!

I had read at some point, that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him 3x to give Peter the chance to truly undo the three times he had rejected Him (after the third time he denied Jesus the rooster crowed). Jesus does give us the opportunity to tell Him time and time again, how very much we love Him and each time making such reparation for the times we have turned our backs on Him. Thank you for posting this on your blog, these are passages we truly need to meditate on.

Pax tecum