Do you have a favorite TV show you like to watch and rewatch? A social media account you follow all the time? A video game you play constantly?
Today, I’d like to talk to you about a passage in the Gospel of John and how it relates to some of our favorite things to do in our free time.
Recently, a couple of my friends and I finished a study we did together on the book of John, and some of the passages near the end of the book stuck out to me, so I’d like to talk about one of them with you.
First, I’d recommend you read chapter 21 of John. Though I will only be discussing verses 15-19, I want you to have the context.
You can click here for the passage.
What’s Happening Here?
In this chapter, Jesus has appeared to seven of the disciples after His resurrection. He had already appeared to them twice before at this point, but each one has been unique. This time, he came to them from the shore while they had been fishing all night, and told them to cast on the other side of the boat, resulting in a ton of fish. This helped the disciples realize it was Him.
After eating with them, Jesus asks Peter a question (verse 15):
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
He then goes on to ask Peter twice more if he loves Him, which points back to Peter’s three times of denying Jesus earlier during His trials.
While this is an important passage in a number of ways, I’d like to hover for a moment on that first question. In this question, the translation adds “more than these” while the following two questions only ask if Peter loves Him.
It isn’t clear what Jesus is referring to: it could be the bounty of fish they just pulled in, it could be the other disciples, or it could be related to his pride. Whatever it is, though, I think there’s an important takeaway we can draw from here.
It’s really easy to be caught up in this world and its treasures. Favorite TV shows, social media, games, possessions, promotions, money… you name it– all of it is the world’s.
While it’s alright to enjoy those things, I think occasionally asking the question, “Do I love this more than Jesus?” can be beneficial. We need to be checking with ourselves to see if we’ve fallen into a pit of holding these things as idols and as a higher priority than the One who matters most, because it’s so easy to do so.
Now, I know this is hard. I fall into this too. The point of this article isn’t to make you feel ashamed, but to remind you to evaluate and remember that Jesus is better than anything else. I know it’s easy, when you read articles like this, to fall into a pit of “Oh, I should be doing X, Y, and Z, and stop doing A, B, and C.”
Please don’t fall into trying to be perfect all at once. Instead, just take a few minutes at some point in the next week, and evaluate one thing that may be distracting you from your faith and Jesus. Then, come up with one step in how to redirect yourself. Maybe it’s fasting from TV for a week, taking a day away from social media, or spending a few more minutes praying or reading the Bible. It doesn’t have to be huge– just take it one step at a time.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, but lay up yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:19-21
Thank you for reading today’s article! What is one thing you think may be distracting you from Jesus? For me, it’s probably some TV shows I like to keep up with and watch a lot, though there are likely other things. Feel free to send me an email through the contact page or comment here with a response.
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Have a blessed day,