After the disciples have dined with Jesus, He talks with Peter. Three times Jesus asks Peter does he love him. Three times Peter confesses his love for Jesus. Each time Jesus tells Peter to feed His flock. He calls His flock by two different names, which are lambs or sheep. Lambs are tender and need much care and tending to because they are young. Sheep need caring for and leading. They need rest at certain times. They need a shepherd who knows how to be responsible for not only their care but their protection and health as well. Note what 1 Peter 5:2 says: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” This is a humble responsibility for the one called to this ministry.
When Jesus asks the question the third time, note verse 17 where Peter is “grieved” by Jesus’ repeated question. At this point, Peter says that Jesus knows all things. He knows that he loves Him. At this point, Jesus goes on to make His statement. He tells Peter that when he was young, he was independent. He could move about and do what he wanted to do. Things will change when he will get old. When he will get old, others will clothe him, lead him around, and most of all, he will be carried to places where he will not want to go. Verse 19 clarifies this statement by saying that it signifies the death he should glorify God. He tells Peter to follow Him.
Peter turned and saw the beloved disciple, and he asks the Lord what shall this man do? Jesus tells Peter what concern is that of his if that man tarries until He returns. This statement spread like wild fire among the brethren that this man should not die. It must be understood that Jesus did not say that. What He did say was “If I will that he tarries till I come, what is that to thee?” Isn’t it something how leaving out one sentence can change the meaning of a statement?
The last two verses of this gospel reveal who the “disciple” is. He is the author of the gospel. His testimony is true because he is an eyewitness to the earthly ministry of the resurrected Christ. His last statement is amazing. It leaves the reader realizing that this narrative is but a summary of the teachings and miracles of Jesus Christ. Jesus did so much that it could not be recorded!


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