We sometimes tend to feel that our past disqualifies us from serving God or from using our abilities and talents in his work, especially in any kind of leadership. This passage shows us that God’s willingness to forgive and restore us is greater than anything we may have done in the past. Peter had publicly denied Jesus (see Matthew 26:69-75), but Jesus here restores him and commissions him to pastoral ministry.
| When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
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. Very truly I tell you, 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.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Peter 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?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:15-22
Monday: How would you answer if Jesus asked if you love him? This seems like a good question to reflect on, especially as we observe our own thoughts and actions. Let’s give some thought to this as we go through the day today.
Tuesday: Jesus wanted Peter’s love for him to result in service to Jesus’ followers. Does our love for Christ flow out to his people? How about to those people we don’t necessarily like?
Wednesday: Jesus told Peter that Peter would die for his faith in Christ, and then told Peter to follow him. Let’s ponder the call that Jesus has given each of us, to follow him whatever the consequences. How are we called to do this in our daily lives at home or work or in our relationships?
Thursday: There are many believers around the world who are facing persecution of various sorts because of their faithfulness in following Christ. Some can’t get work, some are hassled at work, some are imprisoned, and others face torture and death. Let’s pray for those around the world who even today are facing persecution and death for following Jesus.
Friday: Jesus restored Peter after Peter had denied him. Thank Jesus for his wonderful mercy and grace that is greater than all our sin. Nothing we have done is so bad we can’t be forgiven. Let’s come to him with all our sin in repentance and trust and gratitude.
Saturday: Jesus told Peter that God’s plans for another disciple’s future was not Peter’s business. Peter’s responsibility was to follow Jesus. Ask God to help you keep your focus on following Jesus, no matter what other people are doing.