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…
Peter gave the best answer when he said, "Thou knowest," &c. Mere professions of love and devotion amount to but little at any time. Peter had already overdone the business of professing his unfailing affection for Jesus. Yet he was sure that, in spite of his failure under peculiar trial, he was known of Jesus as at heart a loving disciple of Jesus; so he put himself back, as it were, into the care of Jesus, appealing to Jesus to recognize the love which was underneath all his surface-swaying of conduct. A loving heart is always its own best witness. It will speak as no words can speak in its own defence, when doubted. And when a loving heart is pained at being called in question because of some seeming failure, it cannot do better than to trust itself to the consciousness of the one toward it outreaches in love. If, indeed, every human friend should fail to recognize the love of another's loving heart, Jesus never so fails. The Lord knoweth them that are His — whatever be their shortcomings.
(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)
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."