July 14

John 21:15-17 15When 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." 16Again 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." 17The 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.

When Jesus called Peter from his life of fishing, He caused the disciples to obtain a miraculous catch of fish. Peter realized he was in the presence of a holy man and asked Jesus to go away from him. Peter was convicted. Instead of leaving, Jesus called Peter to be His disciple.

After the resurrection Jesus told the disciples to wait in Galilee. While they were waiting, Peter took the boat out to fish. Jesus repeated that miracle of when He first called Peter to discipleship. Perhaps He was reminding Peter of His original commitment. Though Jesus was no longer daily walking with them, Peter could still follow Him daily.

After they ate the breakfast that Jesus had prepared for them, He asked Peter if he loved Him more than these. What did Jesus mean by "these?" Perhaps He meant the boat, nets, and catches of fish - the life of a fisherman. Peter may have been considering going back to his old life. That would be much simpler than the road of discipleship.

Perhaps by "these" Jesus meant the other disciples. Remember that at one time Peter had boldly declared that even if everyone else deserted Jesus, he would never do so. I prefer this meaning. Peter's cockiness is brought to a realization that he can no longer make comparisons. In the end he must simply say, "You know all things; you know that I love you." If you have love for me, then take care of and feed my sheep. That was His call. He was no longer a fisherman of fish. He was a witness of the words, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus. God's sheep needed Peter to feed them with those truths.

Meditation: If Jesus asked you, "Do you love me?" what would be your response?