So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said to him, Yes…
I. THE OBJECTS OF THE SAVIOUR'S CARE — "My lambs."
1. Young Christians. By these we mean all, in youth or riper years, who are young in Christianity. Are you such? Then you are wise to salvation, and walking in wisdom's "ways of pleasantness," and "paths of peace." Your knowledge, however, is not perfect, and your faith is not yet confirmed and steadfast.
2. Mourners in Zion. Penitent sinners seeking salvation, with hearts "broken and contrite." The Good Shepherd loves you, seeks yea saves you. "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted."
3. Little children. How great their number! How important their position! How perilous their circumstances! How lovely, lively, tender, erring, sinful! Think of —
(1) Their hereditary guilt and depravity.
(2) Their capacity and need.
(3) Their position and influence.
(4) Their danger and
(5) duty. Their redemption and recover.
(6) Their destiny.
II. THE IMPORT OF THE SAVIOUR'S CHARGE
1. Food is provided and prepared. Are they ignorant, and in a state of intellectual destitution? This is met in the Bible. Are they condemned, and in a state of judicial destitution? This is met by the Atonement. Are they depraved, and in a state of spiritual destitution? This is met in the gift of the Spirit. Are they sinners, and in a state of moral destitution? This is met in the provision of the Gospel. Are they in a state of physical destitution? This is met in "the resurrection of life." Are they, in short, in a state of destitution which nothing less than Deity can satisfy? Here is food —
(1) Suitable and sufficient.
(2) Exhaustless and free.
(3) Satisfying and sustaining.
(4) Near and necessary.
2. The food provided and prepared is to be given to lambs.
(1) Teach them "the Holy Bible" and all you can of its genuineness and inspiration; its doctrines, duties and institutions; its Author, origin, and end. Here is the School Book, the manual of children, the treasury of young men, and the profound text-book of fathers, the "Encyclopedia" of salvation. The Bible is the oldest, wisest, best book in the world.
(2) Train and tend them —
(a) In the regular habit of reading, revering, believing, and loving the Bible.
(b) To believe, and trust, and rest in the atonement of the Saviour.
(c) To receive and obey, to follow and honour, the Spirit of Christ.
(d) In the duty of submission to the gospel law.
(e) To live in reference to the judgment.
3. But how is all this to be accomplished? We venture to propose the following system: Let it be —
(1) Various in adaptation.
(2) Uniform in tendency.
(3) Kind, but firm, in application.
Parallel VersesKJV: So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
WEB: So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."