New International Version
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."
King James Bible
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Darby Bible Translation
He says to him again a second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He says to him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I am attached to thee. He says to him, Shepherd my sheep.
World English Bible
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
Young's Literal Translation
He saith to him again, a second time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me?' he saith to him, 'Yes, Lord; thou hast known that I dearly love thee;' he saith to him, 'Tend my sheep.'
John 21:16 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Simon lovest thou me - Peter had thrice denied his Lord, and now Christ gives him an opportunity in some measure to repair his fault by a triple confession.
More than these? - This was a kind of reproach to Peter: he had professed a more affectionate attachment to Christ than the rest; he had been more forward in making professions of friendship and love than any of the others; and no one (Judas excepted) had treated his Lord so basely. As he had before intimated that his attachment to his Master was more than that of the rest, our Lord now puts the question to him, Dost thou love me more than these? To which Peter made the most modest reply - Thou knowest I love thee, but no longer dwells on the strength of his love, nor compares himself with even the meanest of his brethren. He had before cast the very unkind reflection on his brethren, Though all be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended, Matthew 26:33. But he had now learned, by dreadful experience, that he who trusteth his own heart is a fool; and that a man's sufficiency for good is of the Lord alone.
The words, more than these, Bishop Pearce thinks refer to the provisions they were eating, or to their secular employments; for says he, "It does not seem probable that Jesus should put a question to Peter which he could not possibly answer; because he could only know his own degree of love for Jesus, not that of the other disciples." But it appears to me that our Lord refers to the profession made by Peter, which I have quoted above.
It is remarkable that in these three questions our Lord uses the verb αγαπαω, which signifies to love affectionately, ardently, supremely, perfectly - see the note on Matthew 21:37; and that Peter always replies, using the verb φιλεω, which signifies to love, to like, to regard, to feel friendship for another. As if our Lord had said, "Peter, dost thou love me ardently and supremely?" To which he answers, "Lord, I feel an affection for thee - I do esteem thee - but dare, at present, say no more."
There is another remarkable change of terms in this place. In John 21:15, John 21:17, our Lord uses the verb βοσκδω, to feed, and in John 21:16 he uses the word ποιμαινω, which signifies to tend a flock, not only to feed, but to take care of, guide, govern, defend, etc., by which he seems to intimate that it is not sufficient merely to offer the bread of life to the congregation of the Lord, but he must take care that the sheep be properly collected, attended to, regulated, guided, etc.; and it appears that Peter perfectly comprehended our Lord's meaning, and saw that it was a direction given not only to him, and to the rest of the disciples, but to all their successors in the Christian ministry; for himself says, 1 John 5:2 : Feed the flock of God (ποιμανατε το ποιμνιον του Θεου) which is among you, taking the oversight (επισκοπουντες, acting as superintendents and guardians), not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Every spiritual shepherd of Christ has a flock, composed of Lambs - young converts, and Sheep - experienced Christians, to feed, guide, regulate, and govern. To be properly qualified for this, his wisdom and holiness should always exceed those of his flock. Who is sufficient for these things? The man who lives in God, and God in him.
To the answer of Christ, in John 21:16, the later Syriac adds, If thou lovest me and esteemest me, feed my sheep.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryNovember 20. "The Disciple whom Jesus Loved Leaned on his Breast" (John xxi. 20).
"The disciple whom Jesus loved leaned on His breast" (John xxi. 20). An American gentleman once visited the saintly Albert Bengel. He was very desirous to hear him pray. So one night he lingered at his door, hoping to overhear his closing devotions. The rooms were adjoining and the doors ajar. The good man finished his studies, closed his books, knelt down for a moment and simply said: "Dear Lord Jesus, things are still the same between us," and then sweetly fell asleep. So close was his communion …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Beach and the Sea
Lovest Thou Me?
Christ among the Common Things of Life
"'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'"
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.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
1 Peter 5:2
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'"
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