So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.
I love God. I love Jesus. I love God’s Word. I love my wife. I love my mother. I love my children. Boy, do I love my grandchildren. I love all the souls at my congregation. I love my dogs. I love to ride bikes. I love my job. I love the Green Bay Packers. I tell them I love them in words and actions.
So, did Jesus not know that Peter loved Him? Was Jesus questioning Peter’s love for Him? He knew Peter loved Him. Just what was Jesus trying to teach Peter?
Jesus asked Peter to do two things in his replies to Peter.
First, He said to tend and shepherd His sheep. Peter was to take care of Jesus’ followers. Jesus said that if he loved Him he would take care of leading, feeding and protecting His family of believers. Jesus asked him to turn his love into action. It is one thing to say that you love something, but it is another totally different thing to have love lead us to action.
Jesus told him that if he loved Him he would look after someone other than himself, His sheep. To serve someone by taking care of them spiritually. Making sure they were growing and following Jesus in their lives.
This is loving Jesus as Jesus defined it. Not only confessing that I love Jesus, Jesus knows whether I love Him. I should turn my love for Jesus to action. Just like Peter was asked to do. Turn my efforts towards others and help them and myself to grow and mature spiritually. I need to help my brothers and sisters in Christ when they are in need of physical and spiritual help. Love all of His sheep.
Jesus told Peter to turn his love to action. I need to turn my love for Jesus into action.