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John 21:15-25

November 17, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

“After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?[a]

‘Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.’

‘Then feed my lambs,’ Jesus told him.

16 Jesus repeated the question: ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ Peter said, ‘you know I love you.’

‘Then take care of my sheep,’ Jesus said.

17 A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’

Jesus said, ‘Then feed my sheep.’

18 ‘I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others[b] will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.’ 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, ‘Follow me.’” v. 15-19

I still remember the first time I heard this passage.  I was in college and a senior had asked a couple of us freshman if we wanted to do a Bible Study.  To be honest, we weren’t vary faithful to Experiencing God, the discipleship stuff we were using but I will never forget this passage that John shared with us.  When he read it, it was like no big deal really but as he started to explain the Greek, I was blown away.  Jesus has such High expectations for us and the requires everything we are, but many times our response is one of affection instead of dedication.  Here are the application notes to this passage today from the NLT Life Application Study Bible,

Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him.  The first time Jesus said, “Do you love (Greek agape: volitional, self-sacrificial love) me more than these?” The second time, Jesus focused on Peter alone and still used the word translated into the Greek, agape.  The third time, Jesus used the  word translated into Greek, phileo (signifying affection, affinity, or brotherly love) and asked, in effect, “Are you even my friend?” Each time Peter responded with the word translated into the Greek as phileo.

Jesus doesn’t settle for quick superficial answers.  He has a way of getting to the heart of the matter.  Peter had to face his true feelings and motives when Jesus confronted him.  How would you respond if Jesus asked you, “Do you love me? Do you really love me? Are you even my friend?”

Today, how will you answer these last three questions?  May our desires and our actions collide so Jesus can be ultimately glorified!

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