Peter do you love me?
For years I tried to apprehend what Jesus was attempting to get through to Peter in this discussion. The teachings I had received on this particular subject all surround two basic themes: Number 1 – More than these – meaning more than the other disciples; on two different occasions Peter had claimed extraordinary love for Christ, even comparing himself to other men; and number 2 – Tend means to shepherd; lambs need to be fed, sheep need to be guided. Peter would need to care for diverse people in different ways, as Christ had done with His disciples. (see Matt. 26:22, John 13:37 and Matt. 26:33- Commentary by Thomas Nelson)
Now while I do agree with these comments, I honestly believe Jesus was driving a deeper point. I believe that what Jesus actually meant was this: Peter do you know how much I really love you? Have you apprehended at least the edges of my unconditional love for you? Of course I know the answer because you’re right, I do know all things! I’m simply trying to move you to camp here for a moment; because it will always be the foundation of not only your ministry, but your entire life. Not to mention, your ever present portal into my divine power! Peter, please encourage and instruct my people within the realm of my great love for you. Of course you have it, just as you always have and always will! Now go feed my sheep, and tend my lambs.
My friends, these are just opinions of a man, and I may err. To further substantiate my point, here is the apostle John at the end of his life basically saying what I believe to be the same thing, yet in different words.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifest toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” ~ 1 John 4:7-11
George L. Miller