Bible Reading: John 20:15-19

“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”.” (John 20:15)

Peter had recently denied Jesus three times, yet now Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Jesus. This would not have been an easy conversation with Peter because after denying Jesus, doubts filled his mind. Would Jesus accept him again? He would have felt very cowardly and ashamed. 

Previously, Peter boldly said, “even though they all fall away, I will not” (Mark 14:29). However, now, his pride had been crushed, and he saw just how naive and stupid he was to think so highly of himself. We ought to be careful of sin. Do not stand boldly in pride, saying that we can overcome evil. Without God’s mercy and sustenance, we would all surely fall away. 

Peter’s heart would have been intensely pierced when Jesus asked, “do you love me more than these?”. He knew that he loved Jesus the least because he was the one out of all the disciples to deny Jesus. His heart would have cried in agony at his sins. 

Yet, notice Peter’s response. He does not wallow in self-pity and say, “I’m not good enough anymore to love and follow Jesus”, nor does he deny his mistakes and say “I’m right, I’ve done nothing wrong”. Instead, with a crushed, humble and broken heart, Peter resolves to say in trembling, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you”. He knew his actions did not show it, he knew he was unworthy to say it, but he desired to love the Lord in the deepest part of his heart. Peter trusted not in his own abilities, but he trusted Christ, who knew if Peter loved Christ. He put his faith in the faith that Jesus gave. 

When we face the ugly reality of our sins, and God works to humble us, what should be our response? We are not to plunge into self-pity or self-righteousness. On the contrary, we are called to be broken and humbled and repent before God. We need to acknowledge our sins before God; then, we must cling to the promise of God’s forgiveness in Christ. Even when it feels like we have no faith or love for God, cling to Christ as Peter did. Cling to the fact that Christ loved us first and planted a love for Him in our hearts. Though our outward actions reflect no love to Christ, trust that He who plants faith in us will work it out, no matter how small it is. 

As 1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6 say, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. It is our duty to humble ourselves before God, know our place, and cling to His love. 

For Peter, Jesus said, “Feed my lambs”. And then, once again, Jesus commands, “Follow me”. Despite Peter’s fall, Jesus strengthens him once again and calls him again to his ministry. As Matthew 23:12 says, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Have we humbled ourselves before God today? Have we repented from our sin and pride and cling to God’s love?

Lord, give me a humble heart. Though many times my actions do not show that I love You, I want to love You. Give me a love for You. Forgive me when I rebel against Your ways. Remember me in your love and restore me. You give grace to the humble, and so once again, plant a humble heart in me. Thank You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.