He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep.
In verses 16 and 17, we see that the Lord twice more asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” When the Lord asked him this the third time, Peter was deeply grieved. He was grieved for two reasons. The first was that the Lord asked him this question three times. If I asked you the same question three times, you also would feel quite troubled. The second reason Peter was grieved was that by asking him this question three times, the Lord was reminding Peter that he had denied Him three times. When Peter denied the Lord, he was warming himself by a fire (18:25). There was also a fire in John 21. The Lord’s action was very meaningful, for now, having a fire to remind Peter, He seemed to be saying, “Peter, do you remember that fire? Do you remember that it was by a fire that you denied Me? By that fire you denied Me, but by this fire I supply you.” Thus, the Lord caused Peter to remember what he did by that fire and to realize what he was and where he was. Peter fully learned that lesson. In the whole New Testament, the best picture of Peter is the one in John 21. I do like Brother Peter in this chapter. Here he is a soft, meek, and broken person, a man who has truly learned the lesson of being tested and broken by the Lord.