So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. (Joh 21:15-17 NKJ)
“The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.” ― Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change
Matthew 26:33, 35 Peter speaking to Jesus boasts, “Even if all the rest lose their faith and fall away, I will still be beside you, Jesus!” …. Peter replied, “I absolutely will never deny you, even if I have to die with you!” And all the others said the same thing. Yet, when the time came to stand up and be counted the ‘Rock, Petros, Peter ’ was nowhere to be found. Now on the beach comes Peter’ moment of reconciliation.
The question Jesus asks could be twofold. “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” Was Jesus pointing to the fish, representing his old way of life, or was he pointing to the other disciples, ‘is your love greater than these disciples? Peter would have felt the sting of that rhetorical question, knowing full well that he had denied the Lord three times.
After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah.” Instead of the ‘Rock,’ Peter had proved he was still the ‘Reed,’ blown around by the fear of man and public opinion, he had denied the Lord he claimed to love so much, and Jesus knew where to meet him. Twice, when Jesus asked Peter, “do you love me?” Jesus used the Greek word agapas, meaning unselfish love, and twice Peter replies, with philio, meaning friend. Jesus asks him a third time, this time using the word philio. Peter, frustrated responds with, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus knows where we are too!