SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Peter had, only a few days earlier, denied even knowing Jesus three times. This is Jesus and Peter's first real encounter since. Jesus asks Peter three times, “do you truly love me?” Peter had denied his friendship with Jesus three times, and perhaps Jesus is giving him the chance to make up for it.
- After each question Peter responds affirmatively and then Jesus tells him to shepherd his flock. In this interaction Peter is reinstated as a leader in the Kingdom of God.
- In verse 18, Jesus says something kind of cryptic about Peter's future. History tells us that Peter was eventually crucified (upside down) because of telling people about Jesus. Perhaps this is what Jesus is referring to.
- The last verse John explains that no book could capture everything that happened in Jesus’ lifetime.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Peter had rejected Jesus, and deserves to be rejected by Jesus. But instead Jesus treats him with grace. He gives Peter the opposite of what he deserves, offering him unconditional love and a key leadership position in his movement. God's offer to us is grace as well.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Have you felt like things you have done make you deserve rejection by God, or as though God could never use your life? Know that just as Jesus forgave and restored Peter, he wants to do the same in your life. But you need to humbly go to him to receive this. Once you do, feel confident that you have been forgiven, and that God can use your life in a big way!