DO YOU LOVE ME? – Why Did Jesus Ask Peter Three Times?
JOHN 21:15-1715 (John 21:15-1715) Consequently, when they had finished their meal, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than those who are with you?” “Yes, Lord; You are aware of my affection for You,” he said. “Feed My lambs,” he instructed him. 16 He asked him a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He replied to him a third time, “Do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord; You are aware of my affection for You,” he said. “Tend My sheep,” he instructed him. 17 “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” he inquired of him for the third time.
Afterward, he addressed Him, saying, “Lord, You are aware of all things; You are aware of my love for You.” “Feed My sheep,” Jesus instructed him.
“Simon, son of Jonah,” the narrator says (John 21:15-17).
The friendship that Simon shared with Jesus was what transformed him into Peter, the rock.
- What is it that Jesus inquires of Peter?
- In stating, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I adore You,” Peter was absolutely accurate (John 21:17).
- What was the number of times Jesus asked Peter?
- What was the significance of Jesus asking the same question three times?
- Actually, this isn’t the case.
- (See also John 21:15) “Do you have feelings for Me?” (See also John 21:16.) “Do you have feelings for Me?” (See also John 21:17.) Who are the “they” that John refers to in John 21:15?
Why would Jesus inquire as to whether Peter loves Him more than the other disciples?
Is the answer to the second and third questions the same or different?
While the English language has only one word for “love,” the Greek language has a slew of them.
After that, there’s agape, the self-sacrificed, unconditional love.
So, what exactly is taking place?
The only way Peter could respond after betraying Jesus was to refer to him as a buddy, rather than addressing the contrast.
Jesus then abandons the analogy and asks Peter whether he loves Him with an unwavering commitment.
With His third inquiry, Jesus lowers the bar of love all the way to Peter’s, and there is a meeting of minds.
If we have a love for Jesus that is sufficient, He will begin working on us. However, He does require humility, as Peter demonstrated in John 21:15-17, as opposed to his pompous assertion in Matthew 26:31-33above.
6. Jesus Reinstates Peter (John 21)
TITLEMain PPT TITLEMain Point:Jesus utilizes flawed individuals who love Him to share the good news of His redemption with others. Then the disciples went out into the world and preached everywhere. Because the Lord was with them, and because of the miracles they performed, their message was confirmed. – Mark 16:20 (KJV) Props: a number of signs, each having the name of a different nation written on them. (Ahead of time, distribute signs to a number of children across the room.) (Ask pupils to keep their signs down until you call them on it).
Say:Jesus appeared to His followers on two separate occasions. He appeared in order to demonstrate that He had risen from the grave and that He was, in fact, the Messiah. Jesus informed them that they will be sent forth to teach others how to be rescued from their sins in the near future. However, Jesus instructed them to wait until He sent the Holy Spirit to empower them before proceeding (Luke 24:49). It was in Galilee that the disciples were since Jesus had instructed them to travel there.
The majority of Jesus’ disciples came from Galilee.
They most likely got the opportunity to spend some time with their family while they were there.
Jesus Appears To The Disciples (John 21:1-14)
Consider the following story:One day, Peter announced to the rest of the disciples that he was going fishing on the Sea of Galilee. Fishing with a rod and reel was not the type of fishing that you and I would normally perform. This was the type of fishing that is done with a huge net, and it was successful. Prior to meeting Jesus, Peter worked as a professional fisherman. In reality, he was most likely going to go fishing in his old boat with his old nets on this particular day. Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two other disciples made the decision to accompany him on his journey.
- They awoke early the next morning to the sound of someone shouting their names.
- Because it was almost the length of a football field, they were unable to identify who it was.
- The disciples, on the other hand, were completely unaware that it was Jesus.
- “No,” they said emphatically.
- There will be some fish to be found there.” They were unable to bring the net inside the boat after they had done so.
- It was then that (John), the disciple whom Jesus cherished, said to Simon Peter: “It is the Lord!” Interject here to emphasize that Jesus loved everyone of His disciples, as instructed by the teacher.
- Because he felt so loved by Jesus, John referred to himself as “the disciple that Jesus loved.” As soon as Peter realized what was going on, he put on his coat.
After that, he dove into the sea.
They were hauling a net that was overflowing with fish.
Keep an ear out for responses.
Jesus first began teaching people in the open when he first began teaching them in the open.
A large group of people had assembled to hear Him speak.
In his confession to Jesus, Peter stated that he and his colleagues had fished all night without catching anything.
As soon as the nets were placed in the water, they were immediately swarming with fish.
Both boats were so laden with fish that they were on the verge of sinking!
According to Jesus, “From now on, you will be fishing for people.” They abandoned everything that day in order to follow Jesus (Luke 5:1-11).
After that, he and his pals were all filled with optimism, believing that Jesus was the Messiah they had been expecting for all their lives.
What we don’t know is whether or not John’s “deja vu” experience on the fishing boat brought back a rush of old memories.
Were there personal moments of laughter with Jesus, wonderful times of gleaning truth from Him, spectacular moments when fields of people put their belief in Him, and tragic hours when Jesus was crucified that he could recall?
The small smirk on Jesus’ face as He utilized this miracle to serve as a calling card to the disillusioned disciples is almost palpable in our imagination.
The fact that what has happened is not shocking.
Peter did this a lot before he thought about it.
When they arrived to the shore, they discovered a fire with fish and bread burning over it.
They were all able to identify Him.
They weren’t even able to offer breakfast for their families.
This served as a nice reminder to them that nothing they could do on their own could compare to what Jesus could do through them.
The same can be said about following Jesus in whatever we do; He will do incredible things in our life if we do so. In comparison to anything we could ever do on our own, he delivers EXCEEDINGLY more.
Jesus Takes Peter Back (John 21:15-17)
Say that after Jesus and the disciples had done eating, Jesus talked to Simon Peter in a private conversation. “Do you truly love Memore more than these others do?” he said of Simon, the son of John. “Yes, Lord,” he said in response. “I’m sure you’re aware of my affection for You.” “Feed My lambs,” Jesus instructed. – John 21:15 (NIV) Immediately before Jesus’ arrest, Peter boasted that he would never leave Jesus’ side, even if every other disciple abandoned him (Matthew 26:33). In reality, Peter was bragging about how much he adored Jesus more than the rest of his fellow apostles.
- He denied knowing Jesus on three separate occasions.
- As a result, here on the shore, Jesus provided Peter with a chance to demonstrate humility when He inquired as to whether Peter loved Him more than the others.
- He was given the straightforward order to feed His sheep by Jesus.
- “Do you really love Me?” Jesus inquired once more, this time to Simon, son of John.
- I understand.” You are aware of my affection for You.” “Take good care of My sheep,” Jesus instructed.
- Peter confessed his feelings for Him once more, this time with sincerity.
- Jesus appeared to him for the third time.
The third time Jesus questioned him, “Do you love Me?” Peter was embarrassed and felt awful for himself.
You are aware of my affection for You.” “Feed my sheep,” Jesus instructed.
Peter was having a terrible time with this.
Perhaps one of your parents has looked at you and questioned, “Susie, who damaged my lamp?” or something like.
Jesus was well aware of Peter’s affection for Him.
The one command Peter had to obey if he wanted to show any affection for Jesus.
Jesus was going to be leaving the disciples very soon, and the disciples were not prepared for it.
Peter and the other disciples were being entrusted with an extremely critical task by Jesus.
It was critical that Peter communicate the truth about Jesus to the large number of people who would come to trust in Him.
He was a visionary, and others were inspired by his example.
Jesus did not want Peter to believe that he would never be able to be a leader in the future.
In this context, to reinstate indicates “to put back into use” or “to return to a prior status.” Jesus intended to bless Peter by placing him right in the heart of the important task that needed to be done.
Who could God possibly utilize if He only used flawless people?
People who love Jesus will be used by Him.
A common trait among the biblical heroes is that they all had a deep devotion to the Almighty God.
But the one thing they had in common was a heart that was filled with love for God.
Some of you may already have a deep affection for God, which is wonderful.
If this describes you, please pay attention to what follows.
He cares about you and wants you to care about Him as well.
Knowing the facts about someone will never cause you to fall in love with that person.
I am aware that he served as the sixteenth President of the United States.
Because I am aware of these things about him, I believe he was a wonderful person.
On the other hand, I’m well aware_ (my husband, my father, my son, my mother).
He is not well-known.
I’m aware of his preferences and dislikes.
I am familiar with him since I have spent a significant amount of time with him.
It takes time and effort to become acquainted with someone on this level.
In the same manner, spending time with God helps us to learn to know and love Him more.
All of this is referred to as dwelling in Him.
It is the commitment to be with Jesus on a daily basis. Knowing Him on a personal level allows us to love Him more fully. You should pray that God would keep you close to Him if you are just starting to come to know Him. Inform Him that you desire to be loved by Him.
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven (Acts 1:9)
Say:According to the Gospel of John, Jesus stayed on the earth for 40 days following His resurrection. Over the course of that period, He came to the disciples at various times and instructed them on the nature of the Kingdom of God. One day, as they were eating, Jesus appeared to them and told them that they would be filled with the Holy Spirit within a few days. According to Jesus:PPT VERSE When the Holy Spirit descends upon you, you will be filled with strength. Afterwards, you shall serve as My witnesses in Jerusalem.
- And you will serve as my witnesses from one end of the world to the other, throughout eternity.
- They waited until a cloud obscured His appearance from their view.
- The Holy Spirit was sent to fill the disciples just a few days later, just as Jesus had told them (Acts 2:1-4).
- God worked in wonderful ways, and many people put their trust in Jesus as a result of his work (Mark 16:20).
- Teacher: Please refer to the map.
- Judea was the next largest region after that.
- It hasn’t stopped spreading.
Application: In the same way that the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, each of us gets filled with the Holy Spirit when we place our confidence in Jesus (Acts 2:38).
Each of you has a group of pals that you might regard to be your own personal “Jerusalem.” Select a willing participant.
If you have more than one person in mind, call up a volunteer for each one of them and arrange them in a circle around your initial volunteer, facing in.) This is a performance of ‘s “Jerusalem.” She sees them on a daily basis.
Then there are bigger groups of individuals, such as the children in your class or the members of your sports team.
Place them in a circle around the first circle, with their backs to the first circle.
She visits them on a regular basis.
In sharing truth with people around her, one person may be convinced, and that person may go on to inform others about her experiences.
Then someone else could believe you and start telling their friends.
Then there was another.
Can you see what I’m talking about?
It is incredible how quickly the Good News can spread!
Inviting your sign-holders to stand up and hold their signs is a good idea.
Jesus is beckoning you to tell people about him.
Optional Application (without volunteers): Just as the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, each and every one of us is filled with the Holy Spirit when we place our confidence in Jesus and put our lives in his hands (Acts 2:38).
Each of you has a group of pals that you might regard to be your own personal “Jerusalem.” Then there are bigger groups of individuals, such as the children in your class or the members of your sports team.
And, who knows, God may choose to use you to spread His message to the ends of the planet.
Because the Lord was with them, and because of the miracles they performed, their message was confirmed.
PPT THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE a note to the teacher To avoid overusing the two distinct terms for “love” that are used in this book, caution should be given when reading it.
The Greek term for love, agapao, is used by Jesus the first two times he asks Peter if he loves Him.
Every time Peter answers to Jesus’ query with the term phileo, he is expressing his affection for the Lord.
They do not appear to hold true for John, who appears to employ a variety of phrases to refer to the same notion on a regular basis.
Please bear in mind that when Jesus talked to Peter and asked him these three questions, He did not speak in Greek (the language in which the Gospel of John is written), but rather in Aramaic, the language used by the Jews of that day, which is important to remember.
Bob Deffinbaugh, What Is This Thing Called Love?
(According to Thayer’s dictionary, agapaoas means “to be fond of, to deeply adore,” and phileoas means “to approve of, to like, to befriend.”) 2007BibleLessons4Kidz.com is a website dedicated to teaching children the Bible.
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Are there different ‘loves’ in John 21?
The two things that prepared me for studying John’s gospel were a desire to pay attention to the details of the text, and the knowledge that all earnest Christians (thanks to C S Lewis) had that there were four words for ‘love’ in Greek (eros, storge, philiaandagape), pointing to the four different meanings, uses, and ways humans are drawn to others. In the event that any of this is correct, the motto ‘Love is love’ is rendered meaningless. In reading John 21, and Jesus’ tripartite interrogation of Peter following the enormous catch of fish (echoing Luke 5) and the dramatic meal on the beach, I was instantly aware to the differences in the language employed in Jesus’ question: “Do you know what I mean?” Jesus asked Simon Peter if he loved him more than the others after they had completed breakfast.
- “Yes, Lord; you are aware of my affection for you —phileolove–,” he said to him.
- “Simon, son of John, do you love me —agapelove —?” he inquired a second time of the young man.
- “Tend my sheep,” he explained to him.
- “Feed my sheep,” Jesus answered to him in response.
- Many preachers also make observations about the many terms that are used, and the following is an example: What is the significance of the several terms for “love” in this conversation?
- Whether Peter truly loved Jesus with the love of God, Jesus was asking him if he was willing to make a sacrifice for him.
- Peter, on the other hand, dodged possible torture by denying Jesus’ existence.
In contrast, Peter was still feeling the sting of having refused Jesus, but he was optimistic that their relationship would remain intact.
Would he still see Peter as a close buddy and companion if he knew what happened?
When Jesus talked to Peter for the third time, he got down on Peter’s level and inquired as to whether or not Peter was a real buddy (phileo), which Peter found upsetting.
This not only provides insight into the textual episode in question, but it also has the potential to have implications for life situations and pastoral practice: My father is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and my mother visits him at the care facility on a daily basis.
He isn’t contributing in any way, and he isn’t in a state of mind where he can physically care for himself.
Despite the fact that she loves him unconditionally, she also loves him in a relational and intimate way after years and years of sharing her life with him.
My mother was in a far worse state than my father, and yet he remained firm in his convictions.
“I’m going to put it into practice.” Differentiating between these two types of love is a realistic possibility, given the fact that we can observe for ourselves the various motivations that lead us to care for others.
However, there are several significant problems with this interpretation of John 21.
The second point to consider is whether or not there is a significant difference between the two terms.
And the use of these two synonyms also needs to be put in the context of Jesus’ synonyms for ‘feed’ and ‘my sheep’. The order is as follows:
|Jesus’ question||Peter’s answer||Command||Object|
I am not aware of any critic who considers the development of synonyms for ‘feed my sheep’ to be very noteworthy, so why should we believe that the evolution of synonyms for ‘love’ is noteworthy? Furthermore, Peter does not react to Jesus’ inquiry ‘Do youagapaome?’ with ‘No, Lord, but I dophileoyou’ but rather with ‘Yes!’ when he is asked ‘Do youagapaome?’ As we will see in verse 17, he is upset not because Jesus has changed the word he employs, but rather because Jesus has asked him ‘a third time,’ a term that John repeats for emphasis, that Jesus has asked him.
Maybe he’s wincing on the inside because he’s still thinking about the threefold question that he was asked in front of the fire, and this third question of Jesus is both a painful reminder of his failure and the excruciating process of healing that wound, just as we wince in pain when someone pulls out a splinter or thorn from our hand that has embedded itself in the skin.
(Bultmann is virtually alone among all of history’s interpreters in failing to notice the similarity here.) My conviction in the ‘love’ distinction was first disabused by reading the commentary of C K Barrett, and I originally found it difficult to be persuaded.
Barrett, on the other hand, isn’t having any of it (p 584), and he uses the parallelism from earlier in John to defend himself: Anyone who truly loves (agapao) me will follow my instructions.
(See also John 16.27) Additionally, Barrett points out that the two Greek verbs appear to be used interchangeably in the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX), citing as an example Proverb 8.17, ‘Those who love (phileo) me, I love (agapao), and those who seek me will find me,’ which both Greek verbs translate the same Hebrew verbahv (love).
The author points out that John uses the agapeword-group (in various forms) around 37 times (including Jn.
5:20, 11:3, 11:36, 12:25, 15:19, 16:27, 20:2, 21:15, 21:16, 21:17), and this includes the Father adoring (phileo -love) the Son in Jn.
11:13 and The actual language of John’s gospel does not support the popular separation between the two names, regardless of what other usage could be found elsewhere in the Bible.
I believe that the central point here is Peter’s restoration, and it is characteristic of John’s gospel to make connections backwards and forwards throughout the narrative; the reference to ‘feeding my sheep’ takes us back to Jesus’ claim to be the good shepherd in John 10—and John has already made a connection between this teaching and Peter’s betrayal by using the same word (aule) for both the sheep-pen of the good shepherd and the courtyard of the failed shepherd (John 10.1, 16 (John 18.15).
There is also additional relevance at the level of John’s linguistic expression.
The use of these phrases in the Gospel of John, as well as the distinction between the four meanings for love in general Greek use, remain unresolved issues in my mind.
Words take on meaning in the context in which they are used, and dictionaries merely summarize the ways in which words have been used in the wide variety of circumstances in which they have been employed.
People who have learnt to look up the lexical forms of Greek words in their Strong’s Concordance without understanding much about Greek grammar or the ways in which word use is a fundamental part of establishing meaning in Biblical literature perform this task in large numbers (just as it is in our own language and literature).
- As a result, we may miss the actual point of a text that is often right in front of us in favor of more “oooh-aaaah deep and insightful” conclusions that are, in reality, not very good conclusions.
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Who are the “these” in the “more than these” of John 21:15?
Shawn Brasseaux contributed to this article. “So after they had finished eating, Jesus addressed Simon Peter, saying, Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me more than these?” (John 21:25-26) He responds, “Yea, Lord; thou knowst that I adore thee,” he says. He tells him, “Feed my lambs,” and he does. In response, he says to him for the second time: Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me? He responds, “Yea, Lord; thou knowst that I adore thee,” he says. So he tells him to take care of his flock.
Peter was distressed because he had asked him, for the third time, “Do you love me?” Peter was distressed.
Take note of verse 15 once more: “And after they had finished eating, Jesus addressed Simon Peter, saying, Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me more than these?
“Feed my lambs,” he says to him, and he obeys.
- According to others, the phrase “more than these” alludes to the other disciples of Jesus. For lack of a better phrase, they have Jesus questioning Peter, “Do you love Me more than these other disciples love Me?” After all, they argue, Peter had declared that no matter what others did, he would always be devoted to Jesus (Matthew 26:33)
- Others contend that the term “more than these” refers to the fish. “Do you love Me more than you love these fish?” Jesus asks them, and they respond affirmatively. The fact that Peter was a fisherman (John 21:3, 7, 11, Matthew 4:18
- Luke 5:1-11), of course, makes sense.
Which of the following is the most likely? What is the best way to go about determining this? Personally, I am not a fan of the first scenario, which involves the disciples. Jesus would never put Peter in a position of competition with the other disciples. What do you think the Lord was thinking when He gave Peter the chance to brag once more about his devotion to Him, which resulted in animosity among the disciples who were present throughout the conversation? The Lord Jesus Christ was well aware that Satan was always striving to bring their group to its knees, and He would not allow the Devil to get the upper hand.
This was a display of arrogance and self-centeredness.
I would be more than willing to explain why I endorse the second option—the fish—if you are interested.
Take note of John 21:1-3: “After these things, Jesus appeared to the disciples once again near the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way he revealed himself to them.” There were twelve of his followers there: Simon Peter, Thomas named Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two additional disciples who were not present.
- The fishermen Peter and his brother Andrew had abandoned at the start of Christ’s earthly mission had given up their livelihood.
- And he tells them, “Follow me, and I will create you men who fish for men.” “And they immediately left their nets behind and followed him,” they said.
- 22 And they instantly deserted the ship, as well as their father, and followed him,” they wrote.
- He has been rejected by Israel, crucified, buried, and then resurrected from the dead.
- The Apostles, on the other hand, would rather go back to fishing.
- While the Apostles are out fishing on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), the Lord Jesus is in the kitchen preparing fish and bread.
- Peter dragged the net all the way to the shore.
- “Come and dine with us,” Jesus says to them in verses 12-13.
When Jesus arrives, he takes food from them and gives it to them, as well as fish.” In addition, verse 14 says, “This is the third time that Jesus has revealed himself to his followers, following his resurrection from the grave.” Now comes the time for Jesus to ask Peter three questions: “So when they had finished eating, Jesus says to Simon, ‘Come with me.'” Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me more more than these others do?
- He responds, “Yea, Lord; thou knowst that I adore thee,” he says.
- In response, he says to him for the second time: Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me?
- So he tells him to take care of his flock.
- Peter was distressed because he had asked him, for the third time, “Do you love me?” Peter was distressed.
- According to the chapter’s opening words, “these” would be the fish, which would refer to the fishing business that Peter had returned to after ignoring his duty to Jesus Christ.
- He was to be a “fisher of men,” as Christ had stated many years before.
- Jesus asked the question three times, not only to highlight the point, but also to provide Peter with an opportunity to be restored to his rightful place.
Matthew 26:33-35: “It is written, ” In response, Peter stated, “Even though all men are offended because of thee, I will never be offended because of thee.
“Thou shalt refuse me three times.” Peter responded to him by saying, “Even though I die with thee, I will not deny thee.” “All of the disciples agreed on this,” they stated.
And after he had gone out onto the porch, another maid noticed him and informed those there that this individual had also been with Jesus of Nazareth.
Then he began cursing and swearing, claiming that he did not know who the man was.
After that, Peter remembered Jesus’ words to him, in which he was instructed to reject him three times before the crow came to call.
He got Peter to tell him three times that he “loved” Him!
Peter’s perspective was shifted as a result of the adjustment.
As a leader of the Messianic Church, he was influential in the first half of Acts, teaching and preaching the Word of God to God’s people (also known as Israel’s Little Flock) throughout the whole book of Acts.
As it turned out, Peter adored Jesus Christ much more than he cherished fish! For more information, see: »In what verse does it indicate that Peter was crucified upside-down? Why did Jesus tell us to cast the net on the right side of the boat? Is it OK to utilize the Book of John in evangelism?
What does John 21:15 mean?
When they had finished eating, Jesus turned to Simon Peter and said, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15, New International Version) ‘Yes, Lord,’ he acknowledged, ‘you are aware of my affection for you.’ ‘Feed my lambs,’ Jesus instructed. “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Simon Peter after they had eaten their meal in John 21:15, the Message translation. “Yes, Lord; you are aware of my affection for you,” he said. “Feed my lambs,” he explained to him.
He tells him, “Feed my lambs,” and he does.
‘Tend My lambs,’ he said to him, and he did.
The following is taken from John 21:15 in the CSB: After they had finished their meal, Jesus addressed Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered to him, “you are aware of my affection for you.” “Feed my lambs,” he instructed him.
Simon, Son of John
The following morning, after eating a breakfast of fish on the shores of Tiberius with his followers, Jesus addresses Peter personally (John 21). Following three denials of Jesus by Peter, Jesus now proves his love for him three times. Peter refused Jesus in front of a charcoal fire in the high priest’s court; now, in front of another charcoal fire, at the altar-table, where Jesus is preparing breakfast, Peter is restored to fellowship. When Jesus addresses Peter, he refers to him as “Simon, son of Joannes” each time.
- Peter is referred to as “son of Joannes” in 1:42 and again in chapter 21, but never between the two passages.
- It’s an unique way to refer to someone.
- We know the fathers of the other apostles, but, with the exception of John 1 and 21, we know nothing about Peter’s father.
- Immediately following the prologue, the apostle John is engaged with the ministry of John the Baptist.
- Following Jesus (1:37-39), the two disciples begin to follow him; one of them is Andrew, who informs his brother Simon Peter of this and takes him to Jesus (1:40-42).
- Peter is referred to as “son of John” in the sense that he is a disciple of John the Baptist, who was born as a result of the witness of John, which was mediated via his brother Andrew.
- John prepares the way for the Lamb of God, while Peter conveys the message of the Lamb who has been slaughtered and risen from the dead.
- Having observed by being caught and executed, Peter will also be taken somewhere he does not want to go, symbolizing the martyrdom he would suffer (21:18-19).
Peter betrayed not just Jesus, but also his “father,” John, in his rejection of his Lordship. He was unable to bear testimony to the Lamb. As a result of his restoration to Jesus’ company at the beach, he is also returned to his inheritance as the son of John the witness, John the martyr.
Do You Really Love Me? Peter’s Restoration and Destiny Foreshadowed (A Study of John 21:15–19)
Then, when everyone had done eating, Jesus turned to Simon Peter and said, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” 15 “Yes, Lord,” he acknowledged, “you are aware of my affection for you.” “Feed my lambs,” Jesus instructed. 16 “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Jesus said yet another time. “Yes, Lord, you are aware of my affection for you,” he said. “Take good care of my sheep,” Jesus instructed. 17 “Simon son of John, do you love me?” he said of him on the third occasion. Peter was saddened when Jesus questioned him, for the third time, “Do you love me?” Peter didn’t know how to respond.
- “Feed my sheep,” Jesus instructed.
- “Follow me!” he said as he approached him.
- As we will see, there is a logical progression to what has been discussed here.
- First, notice that Jesus greets Peter by his given name, Simon, rather than by the nickname he gave him (Cephas = rock), and that he even includes the patronymic, “son of Jonah/John,” in his address to him.
- Alternatively, it might be translated as “Do you love me more than the other disciples love me?” It may be interpreted as “Do you love me more than you love them?”.
- (For example, fishing, etc.) Due to the fact that he has just returned from a fishing trip, it is very feasible that Peter would have received the question in the final sense, but the question is ambiguous.
- Peter’s remark is thought-provoking.
- Jesus asks the same question a second time, but this time we do not have the “more than these” qualifier linked to the inquiry.
- And once again, Peter says, “Yes, Lord, you are aware of my affection for you.” This time, though, the assignment is a little different: “take care of my sheep” (or “shepherd my adult sheep” in certain cases).
- Is it true that you adore me, Simon son of Jonah/John?” Peter has been severely injured this time.
- Peter was put through the entire recommissioning process by Jesus, and it was an emotional experience.
Peter, too, will die by crucifixion in the year AD 68, a significant amount of time before the writing of this gospel. “Follow me!” Jesus says in this segment of the tale, which we may read here.
Questions for Reflection
- Why is Peter being restored in three stages? Exactly what was it that Peter was being recommissioned to perform
- What did Jesus seem to be saying concerning Peter’s death, and do you think it was reassuring that he said it would not happen until Peter was old enough
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John 21:21 – “When Peter saw him [John], he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?'”
The fish weren’t biting, and by the end of the night, the disciples had brought in absolutely nothing. (See also John 21:3) Things, on the other hand, were about to change. A stranger on the shore provided instructions that resulted in a capture so enormous that “they were unable to bring the net in due to the large amount of fish.” (See also John 21:6) When they arrived to the shore, “they saw a fire of blazing coals there, with fish on it and some bread” (John 21:9), which they immediately recognized as having been prepared by the Lord, whom they had now recognized.
“Come in and enjoy breakfast with me,” Jesus said.
And without a moment’s hesitation, Peter said, “Yes, Lord,.you are aware of my affection for you.” Afterwards, Jesus gave him the order, “Feed my sheep.” (See John 21:12-15 for further information.) This question is repeated twice more, and each time Peter responds with a declaration of his love for the Lord, and each time the Lord entrusts him with the exact same pastoral commission as before.
Lord, What About Him?
As soon as Peter sees Jesus, he questions him about John: “Lord, what about him?” he inquires. Peter, who has recently gotten his own pastoral commission as well as an obituary notice, is now interested in learning what will happen to John. Jesus might have responded to Peter’s query by providing him with an itinerary of John’s life, which is exactly what he desired, but instead he guides him to what is significant in his own life. He tells Peter, “I’m sorry, but.” “What do you think it is worth to me if I want him to live until I return?
As if Peter hadn’t already been charged with enough duty to last him a lifetime, Jesus tells him for the second time, “Follow me,” which is a summons for loyal adherence to the work that has been assigned to him by Jesus.
Because God is sovereign, he is aware of all occurrences and will never be caught off guard by any of them.
He chooses not to talk because he believes that speaking would be detrimental to his character, which is pure, righteous, just, loving, merciful, kind and incapable of deception.
You may put your confidence in a sovereign God. And if we ever ask a question similar to the one Peter posed, the Lord’s response will always be the same: “What exactly does it mean to you? You are required to follow me.”