There’s a lot to be said about the exchange between Jesus and Peter in John chapter 21. Let’s focus, though, on the word, love. This is one of those times that translation into English from ancient Greek, doesn’t tell the whole story.
We have to remember that Peter was still carrying the shame from denying Jesus. After reading the other gospels, we know Peter is generally quite impulsive. If one of the twelve was gonna stick his foot in his mouth, it was gonna be Peter. But that shame was causing Peter to hold back.
However, Jesus had big plans for Peter. When He asked Peter if he loved Him, the word for love that He used meant total devotion.
But Peter, in his shame, used a different word for love. Even though he loved Jesus and responded with love, it was not that ‘sold out’ love. Peter couldn’t forget how he had failed Jesus before.
Jesus kept at him though. “Feed My sheep.” Remember, this was the Rock on which Jesus was going to build His church. Peter was going to have the difficult job of leading the charge and he had to be sold out for Jesus in order to exude the needed confidence to the other apostles. “Feed My sheep.”
As we enter into the Acts of the Apostles, the next book of the Bible, I will let you be the judge as to whether or not Peter succeeded. Spoiler Alert: He did!
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