Below is an excerpt from a devotion I posted over at Pragmatic Communion. Read the entire devotion HERE.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
I’ve heard this story countless times. But today, as I was reading The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life by Henri Nouwen, I was prompted to pay closer attention.
“If God is born like a little baby, God cannot walk or speak unless someone teaches God. That’s the story of Jesus, who needs human beings in order to grow. God is saying, “I want to be weak so you can love me. What better way to help you respond to my love than becoming weak so you can care for me? . . .
The God who loves us is a God who becomes vulnerable, dependent in the manger and dependent on the cross, a God who basically is saying, “Are you there for me?”
God is saying, “I want to be vulnerable, I need your love. I have a desire for your affirmation of my love.”
God has a desire for my affirmation of His love?
I had to stop reading. Sometimes I agree with something an author writes. Sometimes not. And sometimes, I need to think it through.
No. God doesn’t need our love. Who are we? Who am I? Compared to God? Nobody. I’m a fraction of a speck of sand compared to God.
And there it is. (CLICK HERE to continue reading the complete devotion on Pragmatic Communion.)