“Simon, son of John, 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 a second time…, a third time… – John 21:15-19
Scripture reading: John 21:15-19
The Lord Jesus is preparing Himself for His ascension when He has to leave the care for His sheep to His apostles. They would have to go out to preach the gospel and become the foundation of the New Testament church of Christ. The question was whether Peter would be able to do so? Those who wish to serve in Christ’s Church should be unconditionally devoted to Him. If they would serve themselves, seek their own honour, or do their work in a self-designed way, they could not be office-bearer in Christ’s service. He demanded love unequivocally! Would Peter be able to do so, given his three-fold denial, due to self-service and fear of detection?
The three-fold question of the Lord Jesus, “Do you love me more than these?” must have been hard on this disciple who had always expressed his love clearly. This time, however, his response is humble and sincere! Christ knows that his reply is sincere. Hence, He can restore His disciple in his office as under-shepherd and entrust to him His lambs. It will be a difficult task, one that can be completed only in true and deep love for the Saviour! It will be a hard job for Peter especially; the Lord Jesus foretells him that it will cost him his life! His Master died on the cross for him and this servant will have to take up his cross as well, figuratively and physically! In his love for the Saviour, he will be able to complete it to His glory!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for a true love in Christ’s service, for loving leaders in the Church. Ask for courage to endure and be faithful.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.