Peace Lutheran Icon

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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.

John 21:15-18

We are weak-willed creatures. No one understood this better than Peter. He had always been the brash apostle, quick to declare or take action. "Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will" (Matt 26:33). "Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" (Matt. 16:22)
But as we look at the apostle's last words to Jesus at the end of John something has changed. Peter's brashness has been softened by the reality of his own sin and weakness.

Throughout the Gospels, Peter seems to see himself as the leader of the Apostles. Jesus did, in fact, declare him to be "the rock" on which Jesus would build his church. Peter seems to think this makes himself just slightly holier than the other apostles. All of these thoughts were soon to be stripped from his mind right before his very eyes... when the rooster crowed three times.

This was a formative moment in the life of Peter, he had to admit that he was just as broken, just as weak-willed as all of us. He was a sinner. And so as his Lord comes to ask him, "Do you love me?" He does not answer with a brash and simple "Yes!" He put the weight of the answer upon the one in whom he trusts, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love you."

This is the most honest answer any of us can hope to give. We are weak-willed creatures and we will not always love what we should or be who we are called to be. But as Christians, we put our trust in the one who knows us, who died for us and declares to us "You love because I first loved you."

God Be Praised!

Pastor Ryan Dittmann

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