Summary: The Lord helped Peter to full restoration, and gave a fresh challenge.
DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME?
John 21:15 – 19 NIV.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." 16 Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME?
I. The Lord’s Dealing With Peter
1. HIS CONCERN FOR PETER
Mark 16:7 “go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter" [NLT]
“go and tell his disciples, and especially Peter” [CEV]
There was a special appearance to Peter
Luke 24:34 “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter!" [NLT]
What was said at this special appearance is so private that no record is given!
2. HIS COMPASSION FOR PETER
The Lord did not rush into things in His dealings with people. There is a right time, and there is a wrong time! He had appeared to His disciples before this event, apart from the special appearance to Peter
John 20:19 – 29
v. 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" etc.
There are two separate occasions when Jesus appeared to His disciples, yet Jesus did not confront Peter. He gave him time!
3. HIS CONFRONTATION WITH PETER
At the right time Jesus gets Peter to face up to the facts. There was a time allowed for the Holy Spirit to work on Peter’s heart. Now, when Peter’s heart was ready, the Lord asks him – ‘do you love me’?
II. The Lord’s Disclosure To Peter
1. DO YOU LOVE ME WITH DIVINE LOVE MORE THAN THESE? - I Love You With Human Love
a. MORE THAN THESE YOUR BRETHREN
Peter had said, in Matthew 26:33
"All may stumble and fail," said Peter, "but I never will." [WEY]
Now comes the question, ‘Do you love me more than these’, as you have boasted? Take note of what it says in Matthew 12:36
I promise you that on the day of judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken. [CEV]
b. MORE THAN THESE NETS AND BOATS
Peter’s occupation had been that of a fisherman; was the Lord asking him ‘do you love me more than your job – your nets and boats? Do you love me enough to leave them fo Me? The challenge was to put Jesus first, even before his very livelihood.
2. DO YOU REALLY LOVE ME WITH DIVINE LOVE?
- I Love You With Human Love
We may well respond to the question by saying that is all we can do; love with human love! Take note of the words of John in
I John 4:12 if we love each other God does actually live within us, and his love grows in us towards perfection. [Philips]
It seems obvious that Peter felt unable to rise to ‘Divine Love’.
3. ARE YOU EVEN MY FRIEND?
- You Know My Heart, I Am Your Friend
The Lord had disclosed Peter to himself, and Peter now knew himself, but the Lord knew him through and through.
John 2:25 He did not need anyone to tell him what people were like: he understood human nature. [Philips]
III. The Lord’s Direction For Peter
I think that the Lord is not only giving directions to Peter, but also showing to the other disciples that He was once again giving Peter a commission.
Prove your love for me! Love is active, not passive! It is not necessarily drawing the sword in the fight; that can be an impetuous act. It is a consistent, continuous act of loving service. Look at these words and way them up carefully
Matthew 20:26-28 If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest; 27 and if one of you wants to be first, you must be the slave of the others— 28 like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.” [Good News]