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February | February 19, 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
In our last visit we concluded by alluding to the experience recorded in John 21. Remember, Peter and a couple of other disciples spent a night fishing. They didn’t catch any fish. Early in the morning Jesus was on the shore and called out to them asking if they caught anything. When they said “No,” He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat.” When they did they got a net full of fish. When they got to shore, Jesus had a fire to warm them and some fish roasting. They added a few fish and enjoyed breakfast together.
When breakfast was done Jesus asked Peter, “Do you truly love me more than these?” It’s not clear who or what “more than these” referred to. Peter knew what Jesus was really probing for: “Do you truly love me?” Remember, Peter denied his Lord three times after boasting about his total devotion. Hesitantly, he answered Jesus, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus asked him, “Do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” “Take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time Jesus asked him, “Do you love me?” Jesus changed His question from “truly love” to just “love.” In the original “love” refers to phileo, or fond affection. “Truly love” refers to agape, self-sacrificing love. This third question where Jesus asked him, “Do you have a fond affection for me,” must have hurt Peter deeply, but Jesus probed for authenticity until He got it.