So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17
Here we see the scene , where Peter is receiving his calling by Christ. Now at first glance you may say “Whats the big deal”? However if you remember the history between Peter and Jesus, it is a beautiful picture of love and grace. We remember Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times out of fear of losing his own life (John 18:15-27) Peter probably believed Jesus was done with him, he let his Lord down at the time when he needed him the most
But notice Jesus mercy and compassion, he comes looking for Peter to let him know he is forgiven. Jesus asks Peter specificall three times if he loves him, three times is exactly the same amount of times Peter denied Christ. As we know 3 is very symbolic in the Bible , as on the 3rd day Jesus rose from the dead!
Jesus message to Peter is simple, Feed my Sheep! Meaning Christ was establishing the Church before he ascended into Heaven. The beginning of The Church was built on Christ and the Apostles. Everything he taught and showed them is now handed down to us!
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. John 21:18-19
Jesus makes another prophecy, that Peter is going to die for Christ. Notice the detail of his prediction “you shall stretch forth your hands” , as we know from history Peter was crucified upside down on a cross. Peter died exactly as Jesus predicted.
When Jesus changed Simons name to Peter, its because it means “Rock” As Jesus said in Matthew “Upon this Rock I will build my Church” (Matthew 16:18) Upon Peter and the Apostles Christ has bult his Church and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it, even though Satan has been trying for over 2,000 years!
Maybe you can relate to Peter, maybe you betrayed Jesus and feel like your to far gone! Jesus is still calling you, and you can still serve the Church and build Gods Kingdom in Jesus name Amen!