KJV Sermon Outlines
Do You Really Love
Text: John 21:15 - 17
Many people make resolutions and promises they don’t keep. One of
Jesus’ disciples made a promise that he did not keep. Sometimes people
get saved and then go back.
He said that he would “lay down his life for” Jesus - that he would
give up everything for his master. He said that the night before Jesus
died and as you know within a few hours he had denied that he even
knew who Jesus was three times.
If you look back to verse 3 of chapter 21 you get an insight into
Peter’s thinking after his failure,
“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told [the other disciples], and
they said, “We’ll come with you”. So they went out and got into the
boat, but they caught nothing.”
When Peter says that he is going out to fish, he is not saying that he
is popping out for a relaxing night on Lake Galilee but that he is
going back to his old life as a fisherman before he came into contact
with Jesus, before he became a disciple. Peter, having failed so
spectacularly, was on the brink of chucking in his Christian faith.
In Revelation 2:4 Jesus said that He had something against the church
He said “nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast
left thy first love.”
But within a few hours everything has changed. Despite Peter’s
failure, he is forgiven, reinstated as a disciple and reminded what it
really means to be a Christian - that being a Christian is not
primarily about believing a set of truths or relating to a group of
people or belonging to an institution but about knowing a person - and
more than simply knowing him, loving Jesus Christ. And as we will see
these verses tell us what real love for Jesus involves - supreme love,
suffering love and submitting love and we are going to look at each of
those in turn now.
I. Supreme Love. Look at verses 15-17
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of
Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest
thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.
He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17He saith unto him the third time,
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said
unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord,
thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith
unto him, Feed my sheep.”
1. Jesus’ first question to Peter was “Do you truly love me more than
2. We can not really be sure what the ‘these’ are. Is Jesus asking
Peter if he loved him more than he loved the life Peter wanted to go
3. Do you love me more than these fishing boats and nets?
4. Or he could be asking Peter if he really loved Jesus more that the
other disciples did, as he had claimed the night before Jesus died.
5. It does not really matter which it is because the underlying
question is clear - Jesus is wanting to know if Peter loves him
supremely, more than anyone or anything else in the world.
6. I wonder what it is that you value most in life.
7. A simple way of working that out is to think about what you would
be most horrified to lose.
8. For all of us there will be a scale of horror from the relatively
minor inconvenience of losing small amounts of money through the loss
of items that have sentimental value to the loss of close friends and
9. Jesus wants to be at the very top of that scale in our lives.
Jesus wants us to have supreme love for him.
II. Real love for Jesus is suffering love.
Look at verse 18
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst
thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be
old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee,
and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”
1. Jesus compares Peter’ life when he was young, before he started to
follow Jesus, to what his life will be like when he is older, as a
result of following Jesus.
2. The contrast couldn’t be greater - on one hand when he was younger
Peter was free to dress how he wanted and to go where he wanted,
3. Because of his future faithfulness to Jesus he will find himself
being dressed and led to where he does not want to go - a place where
he would have to stretch out his hands. Jesus is telling Peter that he
will one day face death by crucifixion for following and proclaiming
him. And tradition has it that Peter was indeed crucified.
1 Cor. 2:9 “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them
that love him.”
So real Christian love is supreme love, suffering love and finally…
III. Submitting Love. Look at the very end of
“This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And
when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.”
1. Two very simple words (“Follow me”) but they have profound
2. They mean that people who love Jesus are to walk in his footsteps
and to do the same as he would, in other words submit to him.
3. A person who won’t submit to Jesus can’t really claim to love him.
4. Willing to submit to him and his will.
The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint
lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a
message” “Alter your course 10 degrees south.” Promptly a return
message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north.” The
captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second
message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south—I am the captain!” Soon
another message was received: “Alter your course 10 degrees north—I am
seaman third class Jones.” Immediately the captain sent a third
message, knowing the fear it would evoke: “Alter your course 10
degrees south—I am a battleship.” Then the reply came “Alter your
course 10 degrees north—I am a lighthouse.”
5. Are there areas of your life that you know are in rebellion against
the Bible’s teaching.
James 4:7,8 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and
he will flee from you. 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to
you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double
6. If there are you need to do something about it because it is
compromising your love for Jesus.
Real love for Jesus is:
• supreme love - loving him above anything and anyone else;
• suffering love - being prepared to accept the consequences of living
faithfully to him;
• submitting love - putting your whole life under his authority.
In the light of that will you say ‘yes’ when Jesus asks you, “Do you
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