15 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!”
Commentary & Questions
1. What is Jesus referring to when he asks Peter these questions? (Luke 22:58-62) What would Jesus be referring back to if He asked you if you truly loved Him? This passage is often titled “The Renewal of Peter”; what has caused you to need renewal with God?
Notice that Jesus asks whether Peter loves Him, and not about about whether he has faith, fear, or admiration; he also doesn’t ask about actions. He doesn’t ask, “Have you prayed every day this week?” or “How sorry are you for what you’ve done?”
2. What does this imply about what our priorities should be, to what thoughts and actions we are most called? (Matthew 22:34-40)
3. How, then, would a heart full of love for the Lord change our actions? What is God calling you to do, as He calls Peter to feed His sheep?
4. Are the actions that God calls us to able to be done sufficiently if they are not rooted in love? (Galatians 5:6)
Please recognize the distinction between being saved by grace through faith, growing in your love for God, and engaging in God’s work here on earth; everything done for the glory of God begins with God. Are you secure in the fact that Jesus is the Son of God and that his payment on the cross for our sins enables us to experience God’s love for all eternity, that you have done nothing to earn right standing with the Lord? Do you love God for who He is, and has the Holy Spirit’s work in you changed the manifestation of your heart through your actions, engaging in the things that advance the kingdom of God?
Dear God, thanks for life. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross and pay for all the things I’ve done. Thank you that we can approach the throne of grace; for your forgiveness. Please fill our hearts with a deeper love for you, change us because of your love, and let us allow that love to flow into the things that you have called us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Devotional Author: Dan Moore