Summary: Fourth in a five week series. I trust this series will help us gain a new appreciation for who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us.
The Inquiry of Christ
Text: John 21:15-17
Give background of the text:
>Peter and Friends fishing
>Jesus is risen and has appeared to several people.
>Jesus appears on the scene and provides the fish that the disciples needed.
After a meal of fish and bread, Jesus takes Peter aside and begins to prepare him for his future ministry by testing the level of love Peter had for the Lord.
Jesus asked him the question, “Do you love me more than these?”
We can only speculate what Jesus was pointing to when he made the comparison. He could have been asking Peter, “Do you love me more that you love these disciples?” or He could have been asking, “Do you love me more than you love your boats, nets, and fishing career?” or He may have been asking, “Do you love me more than the other disciples love me?”
It is very possible that the question Jesus was asking was, “Do you love me more than the other disciples love me?” In Matthew 26:33 Peter declared that though all others would forsake Christ, he would never forsake him. Jesus then had predicted that Peter would deny Him three times that very night.
Now Peter, remembering his recent failures, could not rely on his own tract record. Thus he said, “You know, Lord, that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Jesus was seeking to restore Peter’s faith and love after Peter’s period of miserable failure.
There are some lessons we can learn from Peter’s failure and this conversation with Christ.
I. Good intentions are not good enough.
Peter never intended to deny the Lord. It was with every good intention and sincerity that he made his declaration that because he loved Jesus more than everyone else did, he would never deny the Lord.
Matthew 26:31-35 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
Peter fully intended to stand up and defend his Lord if necessary. Then when the soldiers came and arrested Jesus, we see that Peter followed afar off. That very night he denied Christ three times, even swearing with an oath that he did not know Him.
II. God’s grace is greater than our failures.
In the passage we read as our text we find that
III. Serving Jesus requires our total love.