John 21: “Do you love me more than these? Yes Lord, you know I love you. .... he said a second time, Simon son of John, Do you love me? ...Yes Lord you know that I love you...He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he had said a third time ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, Lord you know everything, you know that I love you. “
I cried when I read that. Can you imagine facing your creator knowing you denied knowing him three times and being asked, being given the chance to recant that act three times, “Do you love me?” And can you imagine the love in Jesus’ eyes as he asked?
And the second time?
And then the third?
And coming to the realization of what is going on?
Just as on that night when the rooster crowd. But this time instead of guilt there is forgiveness and love. This time instead of darkness, Dawn. And sustenance to do the mission set before him. The old is put away, the new has come. But in that quote Jesus doesn’t just keep going, he gives Peter something to do. Each time there is an act - a penance so to speak. It’s not something to make right or a price to pay - it’s just a job to show love. It serves to remind Peter of the primary duty of the follower of Christ! “Tend my lambs and feed my sheep”
We are to take care of each other and make sure we are sharing the good news which is Christ Jesus.
Also, Peter, being Peter, turns right around after this exchange and ask ‘well what about John?’ I love this because it shows that he, like us, is still human and always prone to sin. We think we have it all together and are doing it all right and BAM there we go and do something stupid again. But Jesus is ever kind and says “If it my will that he remain until I come, what is it to you? You follow me!” (Do you think he rolled his eyes or chuckled?)
I love this!! Who cares if someone else is called to be famous or rich or a pastor or teacher or have a ton of kids or not have any? Who cares? We are all given different lives. All Jesus asks is that we follow Him!