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. LOVEST. The question cleaves down to the very core of Peter's being. He does not ask after his speculative faith, his conscience, his profession: but, Is thy heart Mine? Is My kingdom enthroned in the soul as its central, governing power? Christ puts the same pointed, radical, searching question to every disciple. Nothing short of the supremacy of the heart will satisfy Him. He has loved us with an infinite love even unto death, and He demands our heart's best affections in return. The sum and essence of Christianity is love.
II. THOU. Not John, or Matthew, or the disciples collectively; but thou, Peter. Jesus' eye fastens on him, and again and again, and yet again He presses the question. How the words searched and tested add grieved the disciple! There was no escape for him. It was as if he stood before the burning throne of judgment. So will it be with every disciple. Religion is pre-eminently a personal thing. The faith and virtue of others will save no man. Each for himself must heed, believe, obey, love our Lord Jesus Christ, or die in his sins. "Thou!" How the eye, and voice, and penetrating words of Jesus on the judgment throne will search and test every soul of us!
III. ME. Not My doctrines, only, but My Person, My character — Me, the Divine Son of God, the crucified and risen Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life of the world. A speculative faith, orthodoxy, the sacraments and ordinances, and church relations will not save Simon Peter or any other sinner; nothing but faith in and supreme love to a personal Saviour, such as is revealed and proffered to us in the gospel.
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."