” Simon, son of John, do you love me? ” John 21:16
The third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead, after breakfast said to Simon Peter, ” Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? ” Jesus asked Peter the same question three times before some of the other disciples. The triple questioning of Peter by Jesus may be compared to the triple denial during Jesus’ passion. To show that he is a forgiven sinner to be the shepherd of shepherds for his church.
Jesus Christ entrusted the whole church to him : The same as when he asked his disciples, ” What do people say of the Son of Man? Who do they say I am? ” (Matthew 16:13) Peter was the only one who answered, ” You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. ” It was not flesh or blood that had revealed this to him but the Father in Heaven, and on him, the rock would the church build upon.
Do you love me? This is the first condition to be fulfilled by a shepherd in the church. The dialogue between Jesus and Peter expressed what being a Christian is all about. Jesus asks us everyday if we love him in a special and exclusive way : ” Do you love me more than these? ”
Despite our miseries as Peter did, we are to love him. Jesus then invites us to follow him a new, out of love and to share with him the responsibility of pasturing the people of God. As Jesus ordered Peter to care for the church and with this, order us to obey and to offer services to serve in the church to show the way for others to Christ.
To love Jesus, first learn to suffer, because suffering teaches you to love.