Today, I would like to draw your attention to a very important passage in the KJV Bible that teaches us an invaluable lesson about faith, forgiveness, and love. In John 21:15-17, we see a heartwarming yet profound interaction between Jesus and Peter, which takes place after Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.
Let me set the scene. After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, he appeared to his disciples several times. On one occasion, he met with them by the Sea of Galilee, where he performed a miracle, causing a great catch of fish. After breakfast, Jesus took Peter aside and asked him, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” (John 21:15, KJV)
Notice that Jesus addressed Peter by his former name, Simon, which could be a reminder of Peter’s past struggles and shortcomings. Jesus asked Peter whether he loved him more than anything else, including his friends and his own life. Peter replied, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee” (John 21:15, KJV).
Jesus then said to Peter, “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15, KJV) This was a commission to Peter to care for and shepherd Christ’s followers.
But Jesus didn’t stop there. He asked Peter the same question again, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” (John 21:16, KJV) and Peter gave the same response. Again, Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:16, KJV)
Then Jesus asked Peter a third time, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” (John 21:17, KJV) This time, Peter was grieved that Jesus asked him the same question three times. He replied, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” (John 21:17, KJV)
Jesus responded, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17, KJV)
My dear friends, this passage shows us that even after we fall and fail, Jesus still wants us to serve him and love him. He forgave Peter’s denial and restored him to his position as a leader of the early church. Peter’s love and commitment to Christ were not measured by his past failures but by his present and future actions.
Jesus’ repetition of the question and the commission to care for his followers shows us the importance of not only proclaiming our love for Christ but also living it out in action. Our love for Christ should be evident in how we care for his people, whether through acts of service, kindness, generosity, or compassion.
My dear brothers and sisters, let us be encouraged by this passage and remember that Jesus loves us even when we fall short, and he calls us to love him and his people with all our hearts. May we live our lives in a way that shows our love for Christ, not just in words but in actions.