The question is in a 2 in 1 form, with the first being “do you love me?” And the second, “more than these?” If one is to be asked such a question there is no doubt that the individual whom this question is posed to will suspect that the other party has doubts concerning his/her affection, right? And certainly the latter party has just asked if the former’s love surpasses “these”.
During the beginning of a relationship, both parties’ love for the other is on “fire” without a shadow of a doubt. But! Suppose we take love to be a function of time, it is ubiquitous to see that as time progresses, the value of love depreciates and on Cartesian plane a negative slope is achieved and the question begins to linger in the minds of the parties involved. “Catch my drift?”.
In Matthew 24, Jesus talked on the sign of the last days, and speaking of the temple He said “…not one stone here will be left on another…” (NIV) and indeed the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed. As he sat on the mount Olives, his disciple approached Him privately and enquired “…when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”(NIV) War, famine, earthquakes etc. were some of the signs Jesus gave in response. Furthermore, in verse 12 of Matthew 24, He spoke of love of people growing colder as a result of wickedness. Jesus predicted that wickedness would make man’s love for God fade away. And thus God asks today, “Do you love me, more than these?” However, He continued to say that whoever will persevere in that love, will be saved.
After Jesus’ resurrection, His disciples had abandoned the task of evangelizing and were back to their initial occupation of fishing. Did their love fade or not? At the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus prepared breakfast for His “fishers of men” and at one point he asked Peter “Simon son of John, Do you love me more than these?”(John 21:15). We do not know for sure what was being referred to as “these”, but, what we do know is that Jesus questioned the capacity with which Peter loved Him? Jesus asked this question three times.
Here are some five things to consider with regard to this subject:
Our first parents fell for the love of food, aesthetics and knowledge (Genesis 3:6) rather than prospering and loving God.
Abraham loved God more than his only son and was willing to give God even through sacrifice of his son (Genesis 22:1-2, 11-12). The angel of the Lord called out to Abraham just as he was about to sacrifice him asking him not to proceed and added “…now I know that you fear God”.
Do we love God more than gaining the whole world? Matthew 16:26 says, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (NIV).
If we love God more than all else, there is a reward that awaits us. Luke 18:28-30, everyone who has left all that he had to follow Jesus will “…receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
God has loved us more than these. John 3:16, Philippians 2:5-11. Jesus left the heavens, took the physical nature of man just to save us.
Indeed God loved us so much that He gave. If you love more than …, you give without limits. Take Valentine’s Day for example, there are businesses that thrive as a result of intimate couples. Businesses of chips, chocolate and soda are motivated more by love than starvation, people give as an illustration of their love. Abraham loved, Abraham gave. Martyrs are honored because they loved so much they were willing to give. The question is asked more so when the collection basket is passed among members of a congregation in a church or when there is a church project or when asked to provide for the needy. An illustration is given where during collection of tithes and offerings, an individual gently gets his wallet from his pockets, opens it to an array of currency notes sorted from the highest valued to the lowest, and his fingertips slow but surely hover from the colossal one to the beat Ksh 50 note at the extreme end. Sure do we love “these” more than God? Food for thought brethren.