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How Much Do We Love The Lord?

John 21:15-17

After the barbecue breakfast on the beach, Jesus turned to Peter.  Doubtless Peter was still ashamed of his triple denial of the Lord (Luke 22:54-62).  Perhaps he wondered how Jesus would treat him.  Speaking simply, Jesus addressed him by his formal name (Simon, son of John) and asked if he loved Jesus more than all the others did.  Peter had previously boasted that even if all the other disciples forsook Jesus, he never would (Mark 14:27-31).  But he did (Mark 14:66-72).

A Different Sort Of Glory

John 21:18-19

Peter had big ideas and bold ambitions.  He had promised never to leave Jesus, even if that meant going to prison and death with Him (Luke 22:33).  But Peter did not really want to go to prison or to die in order to glorify Jesus.  After the resurrection, Peter along with the other disciples hid themselves away in a locked room, fearing that the Jewish authorities would target them now that Jesus had been crucified (John 20:19).  So, it must have been a shock when the Lord Jesus told Peter that he would also be arrested and crucified.

You, Not Somebody Else

John 21:20-23

Peter had a big horizon.  He could think ‘out of the box’.  And that would prove to be a blessing at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit used his big personality to be the first preacher of the gospel.  However, on this occasion, having been told by the Lord that his life would end by crucifixion (John 21:18-19), Peter then wanted to know if John would also be crucified. But Jesus refused to tell him John’s future, and only reiterated that Peter must follow Jesus very closely from now on.

The Big True Story

John 21:24-25

These are the last two verses of John’s Gospel.  They follow Peter’s discussion with Jesus about John (John 21:20-23), after which John is identified as the author of the Gospel narrative.  These verses are historically important as they certify that what John wrote was his personal eye-witness account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (in the same way that he started his gospel in John 1:14).  John’s character was known to the churches; they could vouch for his integrity. We need that assurance too so that we can have full confidence to put our trust in Jesus.