So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” …
– John 21:15-19
Three questions. Three answers.
This encounter between Jesus and Peter is usually paired with Peter’s three-fold denial of Jesus. It is seen as Jesus’ restoration of Peter to His service. I have no problem with the idea, but it creates a significant question for me.
At the trial, the servant girl accused Peter of being with Jesus, and Peter crumbled, denying that he knew Him 1. Now at breakfast, Jesus asked Peter a much deeper question: “Do you love me more than these?”
What if the servant girl came to Peter with a different accusation:
“I know you spent a lot of time with this Man. I know that you love Him!”
Peter failed when confronted with a more shallow question. Imagine how much more painful denying this accusation would have been!
Thankfully, Peter was spared having to respond to this question. But this raises the thought in my mind: What about me? What might the girl have accused me of? And what would my answer be?
(Regardless of what would have been, Jesus would still have restored Peter, for He is faithful even when we are not.)
- Matthew 26:69-75 ↩