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Do You Love Me?

Jesus asked twelve men to be his apostles, and my personal favorite is Peter. I feel this way  because Peter seems to be the most human out of them all. Firstly, he's one of the few disciples that has many scripture passages written about him, and that helps us understand the person he is. Secondly, the Gospels show both the good and bad sides of Peter, which is really refreshing. He's somebody who would ask Jesus to call him out onto the waters, walk on those waters and then drown because he focused on the wrong thing. He's also somebody who calls Jesus the Messiah, rejects that Jesus has to die and then is told “get behind me Satan” (Matt 16:23). Sometimes I wonder how all those experiences must have felt for Peter. He desires to please and love Jesus in the best way, yet a lot of times he stumbles. I think of this especially during the Last Supper. He told Jesus that he would never leave Him or deny Him, but Jesus prophesied that he would. And at the end of the day, Peter denies Jesus three times. 

As I reflect on my own life and I think of how often I have denied Jesus in my words, actions or even my thoughts. How many times have I decided to carry my cross alone or not invite Jesus to help me not deny Him? What is so beautiful about Peter is that he keeps trying. Unlike Judas, he never gave into despair. He has the privilege to go to Jesus' empty tomb and see that He is not there. But Jesus is not finished with Peter. After the resurrection, the disciples don't really know what to do. Peter and a couple other disciples decide to go back to what they used to do: fishing. However, while they are fishing, Peter sees Jesus at the shore, jumps into the water and swims to Him. There Jesus asks him three times, "do you love me?" (John 21:15), to which Peter responds "Yes Lord, you know I do." Then Jesus invites him to feed His sheep. I love this story so much because it shows us how Jesus is always calling out to us and inviting us back into friendship with Him, despite our humanness.

I wonder if this Easter season, our resurrected Lord is asking us that same question: do you love me?  Let us answer Him like Peter does: Yes Lord, you know I do. 


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