I can’t imagine the range of emotions that Peter went through from the time of his denial to this encounter with Jesus in Galilee. Always the brave and brash disciple, he was humbled by a rooster crowing and then distraught as Jesus was crucified. After thinking it was all over, his emotions shot up again at the news from Mary Magdalene that Jesus was alive only to find an empty tomb. Finally, Jesus appeared out of nowhere in the Upper Room, and at first, there was elation, but then it spiraled downward as Peter remembered how he had failed Jesus. After a morning of fishing, Jesus gently restored Peter to what he was called to be.
“He 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.”
Shepherd My Sheep
Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Three times Peter answered that he did. Jesus then proceeded to tell Peter to “shepherd my sheep.” When Jesus first met Peter, he told him that he would make him a fisher of men. He wasn’t going to let him turn his back on that. Jesus wasn’t asking Peter if he loved Him to pump Himself up. He was asking to remind Peter of his love and his calling. Peter was going to be instrumental in the beginning days of the church, and Jesus needed him to be of the right mind.
Do you need to be reminded of your love for Jesus? The church in Ephesus was so busy doing good works that they had forgotten their first love, Jesus. We can be guilty of the same thing. If we don’t work to cultivate our love for Jesus, it will fade away. If it fades away, then we will start to lose our purpose and direction. That is where Peter ended up, and Jesus gently restored Him. If you feel like you have lost your way, start with your love for the Lord and see what level that is. You might find the fire has gone cold.