We all know the events surrounding the death of Jesus. His disciple, Peter , confirmed to Jesus that he, Peter, would NEVER deny The Christ. Yet when circumstances arose, which Christ had predicted, Peter took the easy way out and denies he knew the Son of God on three separate occasions. In fact, scripture provides us the understanding that on the occasion of the third denial, the Lord turned and looked at Peter causing Peter to remember the words of the Lord. Peter’s response was to go out and weep bitterly at his actions.
In John 21, beginning in verse 15, Jesus asks Peter a very simple question, three times: Simon son of John, lovest thou me? Jesus' three questions seem to be grounded in the fact that Peter denied him three times while the Lord was being interrogated. His denials came after he boasted that even "if all shall be offended in thee, I will never be offended" (Matt. 26:33). Just as Peter denied he knew Jesus three times, now Jesus gives Peter the opportunity to affirm his love for Jesus three times.
Notice what Jesus calls Peter to do, if you love me: 1) Feed my lambs, 2) Tend my sheep, 3) Feed my sheep. Just as Peter’s actions spoke volumes in his denial of Christ, Jesus tells Peter his actions now will be the proof of his love for Christ.
“Feed my sheep” and “feed my lambs” reminds Peter, as well as us, that we need to recognize our obligation to teach (feed) both the sheep (older) and the lambs (younger), the mature and immature. Proclamation of our love for Christ cannot be simply lip service! It must be followed up with action (obedience) to that which the Lord calls us to do (Matt. 28:18-20). The question before all of us today, and everyday, is “do we love Jesus?” If our answer is yes, are we feeding and tending as He calls us to do?