Fishers of Men
Verse 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.”
After this wonderful breakfast Jesus knows He has one thing He needs to get straight with His dear friend, Peter. Even though Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny Him, it probably hurt when it actually happened, but Jesus wasn’t the only one in the equation. Peter loved the Lord and knowing that he had hurt his wonderful friend was something he may have been struggling with.
When someone hurts a friend, even unintentionally, there can be tension between the two people and maybe others that are near to them. This is what Jesus needed to make sure was cleared up. He didn’t want Peter wondering where their relationship stood and He didn’t want it hindering the message that the men would be in charge of spreading after Jesus went back to heaven. Time was dwindling and things needed to be said.
While it may sound like this conversation was held while they were sitting around the fire, they actually had gotten up and were taking a bit of a beach walk. John tells us later in the passage that he was following behind and that is why he could give this account that only exists in his gospel. Some scholars make a big deal about the varying use of the words for the word love but that doesn’t seem to be Jesus’ biggest point in this conversation.
Peter gets obviously frustrated with Jesus’ questioning but Jesus continues with loving patience. Jesus knew that Peter was getting His message. To love Him Peter was to spread the truth to the world and care for those that came to faith. He was to build the Church. Jesus didn’t say, “Maybe you could feed my sheep.” He said, “Feed my sheep.”
As we come to the end of our Lenten study we need to understand that Jesus’ whole life was asking the same questions of us. Do we love Him? If we do, we should be spreading the truth of His teachings and who He is. Jesus didn’t just expect the 11 disciples to carry out the message He had given, it is also our responsibility. And like Peter, our message must be born out of our loving relationship with our Lord.
Making It Personal
How well do you love the Lord? Do your efforts at sharing the Gospel message reflect that answer? How can you better love the Lord and speak the truth about Him to others?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you love Jesus? Does loving Jesus make you want to teach others about Him? Who needs to hear about Jesus today?
Father, thank You for giving us so many prophecies to prove that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. Please give us an ever growing desire to share You and the truth of You with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.