When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.” Feed My lambs,” He told him. John 21:15 HCSB
Many speculate what Jesus meant when He asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” What did He mean by “these”? Was He referring to family, friends, occupation, or possessions? He certainly could have referred to any one of these but could He have been referring to the fish that they had just caught? Peter had returned to the occupation he had known for years before he started following Jesus and became a disciple – fishing. Certainly, as a fisherman, Peter must have been excited about the large number of fish that they had just caught.
Jesus challenged Peter by asking him if he really loved Him more than “these”. He was basically asking Peter if he was going to return to his former occupation or if he was going to follow Him and do what He had called him to do. Jesus then challenged Peter, “Feed My Lambs”. Feeding meant to “to tend” or “to protect”. Jesus wanted to restore Peter’s confidence and his position as a disciple. He wanted him to be a leader and light the way for His other disciples and followers.
Challenge: Jesus may ask you the same question, “Do you love Me more than these?” What is it in your life that you love more than Jesus? Love for Jesus, above everything else, is the basic qualification for being a disciple. Respond by saying, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.”