Read John 21:15-19
Do You Love Jesus?
Three times Peter had denied Jesus as the Lord stood trial. Three times the apostle denied following Him. Three times “the rock” claimed he did not know the Man. How must the apostle have felt when he heard the rooster crow and remembered what Jesus had said?
Jesus died. His body was taken from the cross and laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Then three days later, it was gone. What went through Peter’s mind as these events unfolded? He remembered that Jesus had predicted the denials; did the apostle also remember the predictions about the Lord’s resurrection?
Jesus spent a little more than a month with the apostles after His death, burial, and resurrection, prior to His ascension. During this time, do you think Peter was distracted by guilt? Did he sit there and wonder, “Is Jesus going to talk to me about my denials?”
We do not have all the details of everything that was said during this time, but John gives us a glimpse of Peter’s restoration at the end of his gospel account. Following breakfast, Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15). But He didn’t ask just once. Three times Jesus asked, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:15-17).
Each time, Peter affirmed, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You” (John 21:15-17). After each admonition, the Lord charged him with the care of the flock. “Feed My lambs” (John 21:15). “Tend My sheep” (John 21:16). “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17).
Peter denied Jesus three times. Here, Jesus gives Peter the opportunity to take back each denial and gives the apostle the task of caring for others. How many times have you denied Jesus in your life? How many times have you declared your love for Him and expressed that love through your care for others?
Jesus says in John 21:19, “Follow Me,” just as He said when He initially called Peter in Matthew 4:19. Jesus wants all men to follow Him. Do you love Him? Are you following Him?