So much was happening that last day in the city of Jerusalem. Maybe they missed it! The constant refrain of Jesus’ teaching the last night they were together!
Time and again, He steered their lengthy discussions back to the subject on His mind. Love!
Beginning from the Last Supper in John 13, until He was taken by the mob to be crucified, love was the focus of His last words to them. It is love, above all other things, the Teacher wants to emphasize to His students.
Read John 13 through 17 again. Notice how many times Jesus initiates a conversation about love. Observe how easily the students are sidetracked and ask questions that go in a different direction.
See how tolerantly their Teacher allows them to get off topic. He patiently answers all their questions. But above all, note His persistence in returning to the thing He wants them to understand as He is about to leave them!
And here again, the Teacher returns to that most important lesson for His students.
Three times He asks Peter:
Do you truly love me more than these?
Simon son of John, do you truly love me?
Simon son of John, do you love me?
Today, this is still the question on the heart of the Teacher for every student!
Love sent Jesus into the world. In love for us, Jesus lived and died. And it is His love in our hearts that validates our relationship with Him.
We may ask other questions. Become distracted by numerous ideas. But always the Teacher calls us back to the question: Do you love me?
Then he said to him, "Follow me!"