Do You Love Me More Than These? Peter Finds Healing on the Shore - Seedbed (2023)


Praise be to you, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In your great mercy you have given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! (1 Pet. 1:3)

I receive your Holy Spirit, the Resurrection-Spirit-of-life within me,
and I attune myself to your work of awakening hearts, including my own,
to experience your transforming love.

In Jesus’s name I come, amen.

John 21:1–7; 15–19

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. . . .

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.”

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.”

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. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”


What kind of miracles most grab our attention? Aren’t they miracles of the body, where a disfigured limb is restored, sight or hearing is reclaimed, or a disease is dispelled from the body?

We are drawn to celebrate miracles that seem most beyond our human control, beyond our human capability to effect change. Visible miracles that take place in the body feel somehow more substantial than those that are hidden—miracles of the heart.

But they are not. Miracles of the heart have moved great mountains throughout history, and are the only miracles that can ultimately save the human race—or an individual within it. They are awakening miracles.

Early one morning following Jesus’s rising from the dead, a morning not unlike Easter morning, the disciple Peter went out to fish. As the mystery of the resurrection unfolded in the lives of the disciples, they began to get back to work.

This return to the familiar, even the necessary work of feeding families and anchoring life in some sort of normalcy in the midst of delightful-yet-disorienting events, must have seemed like the next right thing to do.

And yet, for the risen Jesus, there was a quiet miracle of the heart to be performed yet that mattered for one person—and for the Great Commission that was just around the corner.

Peter’s heart was the one on the resurrected Christ’s agenda that morning. If Peter was going to be one on whom the church would be built (Matt.16:18), he would need his own miracle to be able to move forward.

The memory that preceded that moment on the beach would have stayed hot on Peter’s mind, as it would for any of us. He had denied Jesus three times around a fire similar to the one created by Jesus on the beach (John 18:18,25). On the night of his arrest, right when Jesus most needed Peter’s presence, his stability, even if only for those around him—Peter gave in to fear.

When we give in to our fears, and make the wrong choices, inward shame is often the result. We may come to despise ourselves, especially when someone we love has been hurt by our acquiescence. As one person described it, “Shame is not the feeling that you’ve done something wrong; it is the feeling that you are something wrong.” Shame says, “You are not enough. You will never be enough.”

Though Jesus has appeared to the disciples, and has had personal moments of connection with Mary, Thomas, and even two disciples on the Emmaus road, Peter is yet to have his.

He is fishing with others, and just like a time earlier (Luke 5:1–11), they have been out all night and have caught nothing. Jesus is on the shore, and tells them to throw their net on the right side. John immediately catches on; the similarity to a previous time is not lost on him. He proclaims, “It is the Lord!” and, just like that, Simon Peter is in the water!

Could it be that Peter knew it was his time, and he was ready to get to his healing as quickly as possible? There are few things that can stop a hurting child from getting to the one that can minister to them.

Only Jesus could forgive what needed to be forgiven—and Peter knew the moment was now.

There are many details that follow, but let’s move to what Jesus says to his treasured Peter. In a sequence of three questions, possibly correlating to Peter’s three denials before the crucifixion, Jesus orchestrates an inner-miracle of the heart in Peter.

“Simon son of John, do you love me?” comes the question. Three times it will come, in a similar form. Jesus and Peter will use different Greek words for love in their exchange, until the last one, but let’s put that aside for the moment.

“You know that I love you,” are the common words in Peter’s three responses.

Jesus is asking Peter questions, but it is not Jesus who needs to hear the answer—it is Peter.

Peter must hear himself say “You know that I love you,” three times to counteract the three denials he had spoken in his earlier moment of fear.

We can only guess that looking into Jesus’s eyes as he asked the penetrating question three times, with each of Peter’s responses holding its own moment of quiet, yet vital healing, Peter was slowly feeling the shame of his denials lifting off his heart.

Jesus concludes the reinstatement of Peter through a forgiveness unspoken, at least in the text we have (forgiveness can be unspoken, but still be crystal clear) with a call to shepherd in the way of the Great Shepherd.

For Peter to move past his worst memory, Jesus knew he must be set free from his shame. In Peter’s responses to Jesus, he was less convincing Jesus of his love (“Lord, you know all things”) and more convincing himself.

Sometimes we need to hear ourselves say what is true about ourselves for our healing from inward pain to be complete. “Lord, you know I love you” was what Peter needed to say, and needed to hear.

Peter receives the commission for which he was made. He will pastor as he has been pastored, he will feed sheep new and old, all coming into the Great Shepherd’s fold—and Jesus will be doing the pastoring through him.


Risen Lord of the Forgiven Life, you have shepherded us, like Peter, so well toward our healing. Just as Peter was set free from his shame by a conversation with you, we welcome the conversation of the heart that leads us to wholeness and healing. Reach into our past, and speak your transforming word. We will be made whole. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Was there a moment when Jesus lifted shame off of your heart and set you free to move forward? If so, what did you feel like before that moment, and after?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt

Subscribe to get this in your inbox daily and please share this link with friends.


What did Jesus mean when he asked do you love me more than these? ›

While they were fishing, Jesus appeared to them. Following their breakfast, Jesus very appropriately asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than (you love) these things (your fishing nets and equipment)?”—that is, “Are you going back to your former trade or will you continue to follow me?

What does John 21 15 17 mean? ›

We are to live for others, care for others, minister to others, do good to others. It is following in Jesus' steps as our Lord came to seek and to save that which was lost – He came not to be served but to serve. We are to go and do likewise. He loves most that is most like Jesus.

Where in the Bible does it say Peter do you love me? ›

21 Verses 15 to 19. [15] When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."

How many times did Jesus ask Peter do you love me? ›

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.

What did Jesus say about if you love me? ›

[23] Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. [24] He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

What is the lesson of John 21 15? ›

The Lord Jesus shows us that love is a personal choice and a gift freely given – it is the giving of oneself to another person for their sake. Unselfish love is oriented wholly to the good of the other person for their own welfare and benefit.

What is the lesson from John 21? ›

“This is the call of Christ to every Christian today: 'Feed my lambs. … Feed my sheep'—share my gospel with young and old, lifting, blessing, comforting, encouraging, and building them, especially those who think and believe differently than we do” (“Being a More Christian Christian,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov.

What is the lesson from John 14 21? ›

John 14:21 (NIV)

Keeping Christ's commandments is and always has been the best test of our love for Jesus. This lesson is vastly important for our own good and therefore one that we need to be continually reminded of. It is a steady obedience – walking in Christ's ways – that is the proof of our being true believers.

What happened to Peter after he denied Jesus three times? ›

Following the arrest of Jesus, Peter denied knowing him three times, but after the third denial, he heard the rooster crow and recalled the prediction as Jesus turned to look at him. Peter then began to cry bitterly. This final incident is known as the Repentance of Peter.

What were the 3 times Peter denied Jesus? ›

First denial: A girl at the door to the courtyard (John 18:17). Second denial: A servant girl, by the fire in the courtyard (Matthew 26:69, Mark 14:66, Luke 22:56). Third denial: A man by the fire in the courtyard (Luke 22:58).

What did Jesus mean when he said you are Peter? ›

In other words, Jesus reinterprets Peter's declaration: "You are Peter (a piece of the rock), and on this rock (the fact that I am the Messiah, the Son of the living God), I will build my church." As Ashley, 12, says: "I think Jesus meant that he was the rock and that we, his house, should build our lives upon him."

What did Jesus promise to Peter? ›

Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus said that Peter was blessed as this was revealed to him by God. He added, “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church". Jesus promised Peter that he would be given authority, then warned them not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

How did Peter show his love for Jesus? ›

After he rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to his disciples and asked Peter, “Do you love me?” When Peter said that he did love Jesus, the Lord commanded him, “Feed my lambs… Tend my sheep” (John 21:16). Jesus was giving Peter the responsibility for caring for the Church and all its members.

What does the number 3 symbolize in the Bible? ›

The number three biblically represents divine wholeness, completeness and perfection. If ever there were a desire to highlight an idea, thought, event or noteworthy figure in the Bible for their prominence, the number three was used to put a divine stamp of completion or fulfillment on the subject.

How many times did God tell Peter to forgive? ›

That's how many times the Bible tells us we should forgive someone. Matthew 18: 21-22 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

How did Jesus restore Peter? ›

In response to Peter's three affirmations of love for him, Jesus gives Peter three commands: "Feed my lambs" / "Take care of my sheep" / "Feed my sheep". Jesus is re-commissioning Peter as an apostle and leader in the church. "Sheep" is a common metaphor in the New Testament to refer to the people of God.

What did Jesus say to Peter when he first met him? ›

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Did God ever say I love you? ›

God said "I love you" by sending his son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior. Here are two verses that cover the subject: John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

How does God show his love for me? ›

We can see God's love in the blessings He gives us. From the beauty of the world to the people in our lives, God is constantly giving us gifts large and small because He loves us. We often experience God's love through our interactions with other people.

Where in the Bible does Jesus ask do you love me? ›

Jesus asked Peter "Do you love me?" three time as recorded in the gospel of John 21:15-17. While Jesus was undergoing trial, Peter was nervously waiting in the courtyard of the high priest (John 18:15-16).

What lesson can we learn from John 15? ›

“It is … through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.

What does it mean to have a clean heart for God? ›

It means having an undivided loyalty to God - loving Him above all else. This kind of love comes from a clean heart that has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we have this kind of love for God, it will overflow into every area of our lives - including our relationships with others.

What moral lessons can we learn from John 15 1 8? ›

Jesus wants us to know that we are branches who cannot stand alone. Jesus himself is our gardener who continuously nourishes our spirit. If we remain faithful to Him, our life will prosper and bear much fruit. If we remain loyal to our belief, the hard work we did will result into more than we ever expected.

What is the life lesson of John 13? ›

Have Trust and Faith. The only thing that we can control in our lives is our faith and our trust in the Lord. If we trust Him and His plan for our lives, He will bring us everything we have ever dreamed of and more. It just takes patience, trust, and faith.

What is the moral lesson of John 6 16 21? ›

It teaches us the “pay it forward” process. Jesus saved us from a chaotic, life. We can pay His goodness by our services to other people especially the poor.

What does John 3 1 21 teach? ›

If you want to see the Kingdom of God, if you want to go to Heaven, if you want to be forgiven of your sins, if you want God to forgive your sins, if you want to have eternal life, if you do not want to go to hell, if you do not want to be doomed, you must be born again.

What lesson do we learn from John 21 20 25? ›

In the things that we do, we may not always get the outcome that we expect because He laid out plans made for each one of us. Having trust in Him enables us to be strong-willed towards the circumstances that we encounter – may it be good or bad.

What does John 14 15 21 mean? ›

Jesus gives one commandment: to love. Therefore, judgment and eternal life begin now. At the end of each day, and during each moment of each day, for John, there's only one question to ask yourself: “In what ways did I or did I not love today?” As you reflect upon that, judgment happens.

What can we learn from John 3 14 21? ›

Main idea: God shows his love for us that while we were still sinners he sent his son into the world to save and not condemn. This calls us out of the misplaced comfort of darkness and into his light which exposes our sin but at the same time cleanses us from it.

Why did Peter cry when he denied Jesus? ›

Peter, affirming his loyalty, his determination, his resolution, said that he would never deny. But the fear of men came upon him and the weakness of his flesh overtook him, and under the pressure of accusation, his resolution crumbled. Then, recognizing his wrong and weakness, “he went out, and wept.”

Why was the Gospel of Peter rejected? ›

However, the Gospel of Peter was condemned as heretical by c. 200 AD for its alleged docetic elements.

What can we learn from Peter in the Bible? ›

Accompanying Christ through His mortal ministry, Peter's testimony that Jesus was the Messiah seems to have been acquired through intellectual, practical, and revelatory experiences, he said. “That is to say, like us, his testimony seems to be one of the head and the hands and the heart.”

What can we learn from Peter's denial? ›

We can learn a lesson from Peter that will help us in our own times of failure? Failure is a reality of life. If you are alive and living for the Lord, you will fail along the way. And failure hurts, we don't like it.

Why did Peter get crucified? ›

His execution was ordered by the Roman Emperor Nero, who blamed the city's Christians for a terrible fire that had ravaged Rome. Peter requested to be crucified upside down, as he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

What does a rooster symbolize in the Bible? ›

In Christian tradition, the rooster is the symbol of Christ, like the eagle and the lamb, particularly emphasizing the solar symbolism, light and resurrection. As Christ, the rooster announces the light that follows the night.

What was the message God gave Peter? ›

A voice from heaven told Peter to kill and eat, but since the vessel (or sheet, ὀθόνη, othonē) contained unclean animals, Peter declined.

Why did Jesus called Peter? ›

Jesus changed his name to Peter which means “rock”. Jesus said that one day he would give Peter a very special job. Peter promised to always be there for Jesus.

Why did Jesus name Peter the Rock? ›

Peter's nickname might have been Rocky, but Peter himself understood that the Rock was Jesus Christ. The Rock on which Peter's life was built was none other than the Rock of Salvation; the Rock of Deliverance; the Chief Cornerstone; and the Rock of Ages. Peter bore witness to that truth in Matthew 16:16.

Why does Peter hold the keys to heaven? ›

Peter, often one key is gold and the other silver. The first represents the power to bind and loose in heaven, spiritual authority, while the second represents the power to bind and loose on earth, temporal authority. Jesus gave Peter “the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” not the keys to heaven.

Did Peter break his promise to God? ›

Three times Peter broke the vow he'd made with so much gusto—and when he heard the rooster crow, Peter remembered Jesus' words, and he broke down and wept. The story of Peter's broken promise does not end there, however, because Jesus is the Savior who forgives promise breakers when they repent and return to him.

Why did Jesus have to pray for Peter? ›

We know that Jesus prayed for Peter regarding Peter's unconscionable denial of the Lord. Jesus told Peter pointedly, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

What did Jesus mean when he asked Peter do you love me more than these? ›

While they were fishing, Jesus appeared to them. Following their breakfast, Jesus very appropriately asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than (you love) these things (your fishing nets and equipment)?”—that is, “Are you going back to your former trade or will you continue to follow me?

What does Peter talk about love? ›

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Who did Peter fall in love with? ›

Although Peter Parker had several love interests in his early comic book history—most notably, of course, Gwen Stacy—when Mary Jane Watson was introduced, she was clearly the be-all and end-all of Spidey relationships.

What does 333 mean? ›

The frequent appearance of the angel number 333 indicates a positive energy toward your quest. King further adds, if you are feeling limited in your life and seeing a lot of threes, view it as a sign of hope. While angel number 333 encourages you to believe in yourself and dream big, there must be a sense of balance.

Why is the number 3 so powerful? ›

Throughout human history, the number 3 has always had a unique significance, but why? The ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, postulated that the meaning behind numbers was deeply significant. In their eyes the number 3 was considered as the perfect number, the number of harmony, wisdom and understanding.

What is the number of God in the Bible? ›

Twelve is lengthened to 144,000 (12 x 12 x 1,000) in Revelation 7:4; 14:1,3, and indicates the complete number of God's Israel: the whole Christian community.

What is God's love greater than? ›

The love of God is greater than anything we can imagine. He does more than just love us: He is love itself. It is only through His love that we are truly able to love others. Because God loves us, we have nothing to fear.

Where in the Bible does Jesus say the greatest of these is love? ›

“And the Greatest of These is Love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Where in the Bible does it say greater love than this? ›

John 15:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

When God gives you more than you ask for? ›

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.

What is God's deepest love? ›

The greatest demonstration of God's love for us is the cross of Jesus Christ. On one of the last nights before He would give His life, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one's life for one's friends” (John 15:13).

What is God's greatest act of love? ›

The greatest act of love in all of human history was God taking on human flesh and being born in Bethlehem's manger as Jesus Christ, ultimately to go to the Cross, there to die for 'your' sins.

How do you know that God loves you? ›

God's love is not his sparing us suffering and death. His love is mainly his showing us and giving us himself in his glory. God loves us mainly by giving us himself and all that he is for us in Jesus. Jesus loves us mainly by giving us himself and all that God is for us in him.

What did Jesus say was the most important? ›

When asked which commandment was the most important, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Why love is the greatest gift from God? ›

Why is love the greatest of all? Because it has the power to transform lives, heal mental and physical challenges, satisfy the soul, direct our goals, comfort the mourning, beautify the world, soften the hardened heart…. There's no end to what Love can do because “God is love” (1 John 4:8 KJV).

How did Jesus show us his greatest love? ›

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus showed His love for others by blessing and serving the poor, the sick, and the distressed. He told His disciples, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12; see also John 13:34–35; Moroni 7:46–48).

How to love God more according to the Bible? ›

“You, too, can make the commitment now to love the Lord, thy God,” he said.
  1. 4 Ways to Express Love for God.
  2. 'Walk in all his ways'
  3. 'Keep his commandments'
  4. 'Cleave unto him'
  5. 'Serve him with all your heart and with all your soul'
  6. Soul Shine.
Feb 14, 2022

What verse is love is stronger than? ›

The title is a paraphrase of a biblical quote: "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame." (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Does the Bible ever say God won t give you more than you can handle? ›

“God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able” (1 Corinthians 10:13 CSB).

What does the Bible say about asking repeatedly? ›

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

How much more will God give the Spirit to those who ask? ›

LUKE XI. 13. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your Children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Last Updated: 20/08/2023

Views: 5871

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Birthday: 1997-10-17

Address: Suite 835 34136 Adrian Mountains, Floydton, UT 81036

Phone: +3571527672278

Job: Manufacturing Agent

Hobby: Skimboarding, Photography, Roller skating, Knife making, Paintball, Embroidery, Gunsmithing

Introduction: My name is Lakeisha Bayer VM, I am a brainy, kind, enchanting, healthy, lovely, clean, witty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.