JOHN 21:15-25 (ESV)
15 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, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him 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, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He 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 everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
- What can I learn about God’s perspective on my failures through Jesus’ interaction with Peter?
- How do I usually react to my failures, and in what ways do I need to change this?
- What can I learn about God’s calling to “tend my sheep,” given Jesus asks this of Peter, who had denied and failed him?
- What did Jesus predict would happen to Peter?
- How might this picture have differed from what Peter had in mind when he first answered the call to follow Jesus?
- In what way is the contrast between the time when one is “young” and “old” in v. 18 an apt description of Christian maturity? In what ways have I grown in allowing others to lead me where I do not want to go?
- Using the same words with which he first called Peter to discipleship, Jesus again commanded Peter to “follow me.” How might these words have taken on a new and deeper meaning after everything that happened?
- What are the costs of following Jesus in my life? Are there ways that Jesus is asking me to follow him in a deeper way?
- Are there ways I am looking to others to determine for myself what it means to follow Jesus?