Jn.20:15 – Now when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

This is the last conversation we know of that Jesus had with Peter before His ascension. Peter would be the leader in the early days of the church and he was apparently going through his final preparations for this important role. Peter was dealing with the shame of denying that he knew the Lord that fateful night of the Lord’s arrest and Jesus was gently walking him through that pain to prepare him for the days ahead.

Just imagine the scene, they were eating fish cooked on the fire at the beach with Jesus and the other disciples when this conversation unfolded. Jesus wanted to get Peter to come out and say that He loved Jesus. He actually had him do it three times. Have you told the Lord that you love Him lately? Here is how Brian Simmons describes this encounter.

“As often is the case, Jesus’ words have more than one meaning. “These” can refer to the fish they had just caught, for Peter was a fisherman and loved to fish. He may have been counting and sorting the fish when Jesus asked him that question. But “these” most likely refers to the other disciples. It was Peter’s boast that he loved Jesus more than the others, and though everyone else would leave him, Peter never would. That boast proved empty, as within hours of making the claim, Peter denied he even knew Jesus three times. So Jesus asks Peter three times if he loved him. In essence, Jesus knew how to bring healing to Peter and remove the pain of his denial. Three times Peter denied Jesus, but three times he makes his confession of his deep love for Christ. By the third time, the “crowing rooster” inside Peter had been silenced, and now he was ready to be a shepherd for Jesus’ flock.”

I love the fact that the Lord will not leave us in our crippled state after bad behavior. He not only forgives and accepts us, He gently leads us through the ramifications of our poor choices and helps us back to a place of healing. The other interesting part of this conversation was the word agape that Jesus used. Peter responded with the word phileo. Maybe the Lord was trying to show Peter that friendship, phileo, was not enough; Peter needed to love Jesus with the God kind of love, agape. This agape love would become the fabric of the church after Pentecost, this love of God would be poured into Peter’s heart as well as all who would be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.