15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”\He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep." John 21:15-17
We consider the point in the earthly ministry of Jesus, when this event was taking place, and perhaps we can better understand the reason for Jesus questioning Peter. Time was growing short for Jesus and with the lurking shadow of the cross in his immediate future, Peter himself needed to do some serious thinking about the rest of his own personal journey with the Lord.
Love is an important quality in the relationship Jesus shared with his followers. That kind of love is key in building our lives into a relationship with God the Father, as well as building relationships with other people .
Genesis 29 tells the story of how Jacob loved Rachel, and was willing to serve seven years in return for her hand in marriage. The Bible says, "they seemed to him like only a few days, because of the love he had for her."
Ruth 4 tells of the love Ruth had for her mother-in-law, Naomi.
1 Samuel tells how much Jonathan loved David, even giving him his own robe and sword and bow.
In Peter's case, his love for Jesus was affirmed time and again, even noting that Peter was offended that Jesus questioned that love for the third time. Love like Peter had for the Lord can be seen in the work of Peter as a gospel preacher and an Apostle, but also in the way he lived and the way he died for the Lord.
Do you love Jesus? Would you be willing to be devoted to the Savior, like Peter? Love is easy to say, but sometimes hard to do. Please do not forget that our love for Jesus is tested by our obedience to his teaching, and by our complete surrender to his will.
Near the end of the New Testament, John wrote, "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18