John 21:15-17 (NKJV) 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, 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.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Our Lord Jesus Christ takes Simon Peter and He restores this faltering, failing, fumbling disciple to service. We learn one very important lesson from this conversation between Jesus and Peter. And it is that Love for Jesus is the qualification for service. On the night that Jesus was taken into custody, Peter denied Jesus three times, and now Jesus makes Peter affirm his devotion three times. Just moments before their conversation, Peter and the other disciples where out fishing but caught nothing all night long. It was not until Jesus took over the directing of their fishing that their nets overflowed with fish. Then Jesus made them apostles, and He takes Peter aside to restore Him. Frist Jesus reminds Peter of his old name which was Simon. For Jesus had given him a new name, Cephas which in Aramaic means “rock man” and in the Greek it is Petros from which we get Peter. Peter was to be a rock man for he was to stand for something. And Jesus reminds Peter of this. Then Jesus asks Peter, “Do you, Simon Peter, love Me with all your heart?” For love is the requirement for service. It is not a theology degree. It is not a degree in doctrinal studies. It is not a degree in Biblical studies and education. It is not a degree in Christian leadership and church ministry. It is not a degree or certification at all. Love for the Lord Jesus Christ is the qualification for service. Love is the requirement. For we are told, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV). Oh, how Jesus loves us. There is no love greater than the love of Christ, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24 NKJV). But we may find ourselves short in our love for Christ. At times we may only feel a friendly affection for Jesus. But even so, it does not disqualify us for service. Why? Because the love of Christ is greater, and His love for us lifts us up to a higher plane. The Lord Jesus comes down to our level, and He reassures us, He restores us, He rekindles our love and He lifts us up to a higher plane. That we might be able to teach new believers and discipline as well as teach others that they may set the example for new believers. My friend, the qualification to feed the Lord’s little baby lambs and sheep, either in the pulpit or in the pew, is “Do you love Jesus?” Love is the greatest among these.

God Bless and have a great day in God’s Word.