Lord Jesus is in the process of restoring Apostle Peter to the Leadership.
First three verses speak of the restoration process.
I. RESTORATION (15-17)
A. Lord purposely calls Peter by his given name “Simon son of John” – reminding him of the old self of fisherman instead of moving forward as HIS disciple.
B. Restoration started with a basic question, “Do you love ME?”
Every person who became a faithful follower of Lord Jesus needs restoration to his/her first love when they stumble in faith.
In fact Peter boasted that he loves the Lord even at the cost of his life but utterly failed and denied HIM thrice before crucifixion.
Sometimes we too feel the same way as we wander off the road of faith even though we love our Lord Jesus.
Three times the Lord challenges Peter with same question because Peter denied the Lord three times publicly.
Publicly the Lord challenges Peter and asks “Do you love ME more than these”?
Lord Jesus expects all believers to love HIM more than anything in the world.
C. Lord gives Peter the charge of HIS sheep.
After restoration the Lord entrusts the responsibility of taking care of HIS flock.
First time the Lord says “Feed MY lambs” – second time “Take care of MY sheep” – third time “Feed MY sheep”.
Lambs represent immature young believers – sheep represents all believers and non-believers – all need spiritual food as well as protection from the evil.
An illiterate fisherman is being transformed into a shepherd of the flock.
Peter was not only a shepherd (Pastor) but also an Evangelist preaching the Gospel.
II. PETER’S CROSS (18-19)
After having restored Peter to the leadership the Lord is helping him to understand his future death.
The tradition says that Peter preferred upside down cross instead of a straight cross/regular cross to be crucified.
Peter’s ministry – His service – shepherding Lord’s sheep – Eventually his death on the cross – Everything to glorify God
III. EYES ALWAYS FIXED ON LORD JESUS (20-23)
Peter is good at taking his eyes off the Lord – WE ALL DO
First time he looked within himself instead of looking at Jesus – he felt sinful and requested the Lord to go away. (Luke 5:8)
Second time he looked away from the Lord and he began to sink (Matt 14:30)
Now third time Peter is looking behind him instead of looking ahead with Lord Jesus.
He was looking behind as John was following them.
Here the Lord rebuked Peter for his interest in John’s future.
We get into trouble when we take our eyes off the Lord – if we do, we feel miserable and sometime sink into depths of despair.
Our main commission is to help each other and grow together but not to be curious about others.
That is why the Lord rebuked Peter just to follow HIM in every aspect of his ministry.
IV. JOHN’S TESTIMONY IS TRUE (24-25)
Apostle John whom the Lord most was an eye witness and recorder of all the experiences that took place during the life of our Lord.
John was witnessing and testifying these truths about the Lord Jesus and eventually recorded them for the future Church.
Here other than John declares that what John wrote was true and trustworthy.
Verse 24b “We (Other witnesses) know that his (John) testimony is true.” Parenthesis is mine.
From that time on, the Church continues to testify that what is said about our Lord Jesus is true and trustworthy.
Today we are included in verse 24b as we continue testify what is written about Lord Jesus Christ true and trustworthy through our lives. Amen