¹⁵When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John¹, do you love² (agape) Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love² (phileo) You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”
¹⁶He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John¹, do you love² (agape) Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love² (phileo) You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”
¹⁷He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John¹, do you love² (phileo) Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love² (phileo) Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love² (phileo) You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.
¹) Literally Jonas (meaning “dove”)
²) Here are two different words used for love. Agape (used of human affection and divine love) and phileo (to love or being fond of).
Jesus led Peter through an experience that would remove the cloud of his denial.
Peter had denied Jesus three times.
Now Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him.
When Peter answered yes, Jesus told him to feed His sheep
It is easy to say that we love Jesus but the real test is are we willing to serve him?
Do we Love God? Then, It will be tested.
Three tests of loving God
By asking Peter three times, “do you love me?”
● Jesus is subtly reminding Peter of his three denials.
• Peter thought once:
³³Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
³⁴ “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
³⁵But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
• Now Peter answers only:
“Yes, Lord, You know that I love you.”
He had now learned by sad Experience that Jesus knew His Heart
● Jesus was asking Peter about how he loved Him.
• Jesus first question, “do you love me more than these?” is an “agape” love.
• The Second question focused on Peter alone, “do you love me?” still used the word “love” an “agape” love.
• The Third time Jesus used the word “love” into “phileo” love signifying affection, affinity or brotherly love. Just like Saying “Are you even my friend?”
But each time Peter responded his “love” means “phileo”
It seems that Jesus is trying to get Peter to understand that he must love Jesus unconditionally in order to be the leader God is calling him to be.
We should love Jesus sacrificially.
Even when we experience persecution, trials and hardship, we should understand that it is all a test of loving him.
All three times Jesus started with his name “Simon son of Jonas”
God called us personally to serve in the ministry
• Peter knows Jesus Personally
Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
• Our Knowledge of God will be tested like how peter denies knowing Jesus
⁶⁹Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
⁷⁰But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”
⁷¹When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
⁷²And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.”
⁷³A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.”
⁷⁴Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.
⁷⁵And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Believers who deny Jesus often begin doing so subtly by pretending not to know Him. When opportunities to discuss religious issues come up, they walk away or pretend they don’t know the answers.
We should love Jesus in both in words and in action not loving him in our knowledge alone, but in our testimony to let people know that He is the Son of the living God.
Each question was followed with a direct command. “Feed my sheep and lambs.”
When someone repeats instructions to us over and over, we quickly understand that it’s extremely important for us to heed them.
His meaning is that, if Peter truly loves his Master, he is to shepherd and care for those who belong to Christ.
• Jesus was emphasizing the importance of Peter’s love and unswerving obedience to Him as necessary for his future ministry.
• Jesus was impressing on Peter how important his new role of tending the flock of Christ’s followers would be.
• Jesus wanted to make sure Peter understood this vital charge He was tasking him with and the ultimate reason for it, to follow Him and glorify God
Now this He said, signifying
by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when He had spoken this,
He said to him, “Follow Me!”
Peter’s love for Jesus and his desire to obey and glorify Him were evident throughout the rest of his life and ministry.
If we want to follow Jesus we should be willing to surrender our lives in serving Him even to the point of death. If we trully love God we should take care for His people no matter what
Jesus is asking us everyday…
▪︎ Do you Love me??
▪︎ Do you really love me?