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 21:17
Have you ever met someone who seems to say the same things over and over? For example, they ask the same questions or tells the same stories. Certainly remembering what you said in one instance some time ago can be challenging, but that’s not what happened here.
As we follow the story here in John 21, Jesus three times asked Peter if he loved Him. It was a direct question to Peter about Peter’s commitment and love. It really isn’t surprising that by the 3rd time he was asked the question, Peter was upset.
Here was the man that he had dedicated himself to questioning his love. Yet, this was the same man that Peter had denied 3 times during the story of the crucifixion. So in that instance, Jesus had every right to ask Peter multiple times. Jesus was sharing an important lesson with Peter that we can learn from.
Even though Peter had failed, he had an important job to do. As a leader of the early church, Jesus wanted Peter to know how important his love and commitment to God really was. He wanted Peter to understand that he needed unwavering love and commitment to the cause.
What would our response be if Jesus were to ask us do we love Him? Do we truly understand the importance of our commitment and relationship to God and the cause of Christ? God is not looking for perfection, as can be seen in Peter’s case. God is looking for love and commitment.