I want to start out with a question. Yup, you guessed it.
Is Jesus enough?
It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for the last year.
John 21:15-17 gives us a clear example of the times that we may battle with what is worth it. What is satisfying. Ultimately, what is enough.
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 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.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Jesus is straight-up asking Peter, do you love me? In other words: Am I enough?
Peter do you love me more than your job? Do you love me more than yourself? Do you love me more than your comfort? Am I enough to satisfy you? Am I enough when you’re seen as a failure in the eyes of men? Am I enough to give you purpose? Am I enough to restore you?
How relevant are these verses as many of us are currently at home, fearful, bored, and anxious?
Not fully sure what the future looks like at our jobs. Not sure when we’ll be able to fill up the pantry. Not sure when we’ll go back to school or what graduation will look like for our seniors. Not sure when we’ll be around people. Not sure if we’ll catch the virus or someone that we love will.
Peter is getting this question (besides the fact that Jesus is publicly restoring Peter after his three denials) because Jesus knows that genuine obedience is a reflection of genuine love.
Obedience in what? In the times where you don’t have a clue how you’re going to pay the bills, is Jesus enough? When you can’t interact with people the way that you’re used to, is Jesus enough? When you get the news that your job is cutting your hours, is Jesus enough?
When we love something or someone, what we are communicating to them is that you are enough. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus, we are saying that He is enough.
If we have fully committed to believing that Jesus is enough then our lives will reflect that. Our interactions with people will. The way we plan. The opportunities we pursue because we know that no matter what relationship changes, what job we may lose, what opportunity we miss out on, at the end of the day, or how people perceive us. Jesus is sufficient. Jesus is enough.
Too often we intellectually can answer this and truly convince ourselves that we have fully committed to the fact that Jesus is enough, but then spiritually we are holding on to the falsely created idea that Jesus is enough. Why is it so hard at times to connect our hearts to our brains? Peter shows us this human struggle earlier as he tells Jesus that he would lay down his life for Jesus and never fail to see his sufficiency. “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33)
Peter believes this in his mind but fails to connect to it to his heart.
In order for us to fully experience the freedom that Jesus wants us to, we must lay down our self-reliance, and depend on Jesus. When we do, there is freedom. Freedom from the pressures you may put on yourself to have all the answers or have it all together. The pressure of succeeding or being popular. The pressure to be seen as significant or valuable.
When Jesus is enough, we don’t have to be.
In conclusion: We should be consistently asking ourselves the question, is Jesus enough? If we claim to be followers of Jesus and have faith in Him, our faith should lead to faithful obedience. This means that we ask ourselves, whenever our comforts, privileges, and successes are taken away, is Jesus still enough? When you’re betrayed by that friend or family member and you can’t bring yourself to trust again, even in your pain, is Jesus enough. It’s not that whenever we fully embrace this truth that Jesus is enough that we won’t be sad, hurt, or emotional, it simply means that in the midst of walking on water, like Peter did when we fall, lose faith or get distracted, we trust that Jesus will reach out his hand and be enough.