John 21:16a Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
We’ve written before of the movie Fiddler on the Roof. It is a musical about the life of a family in the small Jewish village of Anatevka, Russia Set in 1905 it tells the story of Tevye, his wife, Golde, and their five daughters. The repeated ‘problem’ that Tevye and Golde contend with is their daughters falling in love and wanting to marry.
‘Tradition’ – which was very important to them – held that marriages were to be arranged, by the parents and the village ‘matchmaker’ – NOT by the young men and women falling in love! After his oldest two daughters fall in love and receive approval to marry the ones they love, Tevye is struck by this novel idea of love being the true matchmaker. He then asks Golde this same question that’s in today’s verse, “Do you love me?” The ensuing song of this name is such a sweet scene. We get to watch and listen as Tevye and Golde consider this ‘love’ and conclude that in fact they do love one another.
Let us picture ourselves in a situation where we are alone, in a quiet enjoyable place, sitting peaceably, and thinking about our faith. Then, in the chair next to us, Jesus appears and we know it is Him. After the initial shock and thrill of sitting there with our Lord, Jesus looks at us, and with kindness in His eyes, asks, “Do you love me?” And after we likely answer, “Of course, I do.” He responds by asking, “How do you know that you love me? What is the evidence of your love for me?”
Consider those questions now: Do you love Him? How do you know you love Him? What is the evidence of your love for Him? The question is not about His love for us – but our love for Him. Do we fully realize that God has defined what the evidence is of loving Him? It’s not about what we think, but about the reality of what our lives demonstrate.