Demonstrating God’s Love Together
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."
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." 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
20Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") 21When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"
22Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."
Setting the scene … John’s concluding scene to his gospel, intensely personal and evocative …A walk on a beach …. a private conversation, yet with John, at least, following at a close-ish distance.
Jesus intention … to reassure, encourage, build-up, commission… individually and personally. The gospel’s intention is to do the same for us.
An Important Conversation…
Important … ‘Peter, son of John’, an introduction only used at significant times …. What Jesus is about to see is important.
Who/How Do you Love?
A question of love….
…Now that Jesus has been revealed as different to how Peter imagined him…
…Now that Peter has shown himself to be weaker than he imagined himself to be (is he still so sure he loves Jesus more than the other disciples?- Matt 26:33)
What sort of love? (how deep – unconditional ‘agape’ commitment or lesser ‘philio’ attaachment?)
Peter, wisely, asks to be judged on Jesus knowledge not his performance and Jesus, graciously, gives him a command not a condemnation ‘feed my sheep’… because love is a verb.
An active love … forgiving … 3 times… parallel restoration, to once and for all put the past behind him…
Where is your confidence?
His self confidence had got him into trouble and led to failure, now he needed more God – confidence. From then on Peter was concerned only to speak of God’s grace …
(1 Peter 4:13-14 … “rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
2 Peter 1:13-15 … “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”)
Conc: A Renewed Instruction…
His concern was to be for his own discipleship, no-one else’s, as he was called, again, to follow… with a ‘must’, an urgency, a priority.