Then Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Peter, do you love Me?"
"Yes," said Peter. "You know I love You."
"Then feed My lambs," said Jesus. Again, He asked Peter, "Do you
really love Me?"
"Yes, Lord," said Peter. "You know that I love You."
"Then take care of My sheep," said Jesus. And for the third time,
Jesus asked him, "Peter, do you love Me?"
Peter felt bad because Jesus had asked him this question three
times. (And Peter knew he had denied Jesus three times.) Peter
cried out, "Lord, You know everything; surely You must know that I
"Then feed My sheep," said Jesus.
Jesus Restores Us
All four gospels tell us that Peter denied Jesus in a moment of fear and weakness, not once, but three times. It is only here, at the end of John's Gospel, that we see Jesus fully restore Peter.
Peter had denied Jesus three times. And three times Peter was asked to confess that he loved Jesus. Sometimes we feel that we fail our Lord - and we do. But he keeps calling us back to the important question: Do you honestly love me?"
Just as Jesus asked Peter this question three times, so also he asks us this question many times during our lives. Each time, we have to search our hearts and see if we really do love him. And when we do this, we are forced to cling to him more than before. This is how Jesus draws us back to him, and how he keeps us with him always.