When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
- The last hours before Jesus’ death were marked with three denials by Peter. Now after the resurrection, how do you think Peter would be feeling?
- Jesus asks him “do you love me more than these?” What could “these” refer to? You may need to read more from John 21 to answer.
- We may be able to answer the question of so we love Jesus, but do we love him more? More than our friends, more than our work, more than the life we are accustomed to and comfortable with?
- Three times Jesus asks Peter to affirm his love. Why do you think he does that?
- What is the job Jesus has for Peter? In what ways do you think Peter was well-suited for it?
ARISE & SHINE
Jesus did not die for us and then come back from the grave to seek out more chances to condemn his people. Jesus died to take the ultimate condemnation on himself. Therefore he can find Peter and offer reconciliation.
Three times Peter denied Jesus and three time Jesus gives Peter the opportunity to affirm his love. Jesus comes to restore Peter, and he even puts him into a place of leadership in the early church. Surely the church was blessed to have the influence of Peter who knew deep down that he was forgiven.
We all make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a place for us. In fact knowing our mistakes, owning up to them, and seeking Jesus’ forgiveness for them puts us in a better place to serve others who need forgiveness, too.