John 21:15-19

The Good Shepherd Seeks and Restores the Straying Sheep

Peter's three-fold denial of his love for Jesus at the time of Jesus' trial has become legendary.  Peter was, arguably, the most infamous straying sheep of Jesus' flock.  Yet after Jesus died for Peter's sin and the sin of all who would believe in Him from every nation, Jesus restores Peter.    Jesus had laid down His life to pay for Peter's restoration with His own blood, and now He was working out what He had won on the cross - Jesus seeks out the straying sheep and brings him back to the fold.

The Good Shepherd Calls Some Restored Sheep to Shepherd His Beloved Flock

In restoring Peter, Jesus re-commissions this restored sheep to lay down his life to care for the rest of the sheep purchased by Jesus' blood.  This is how dear to Jesus His people are; His priority is that His people whom the Father gave to Him - all who would trust in Him - would be fed and cared for and brought home safely, when this life is over, to the Father's house.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sins of the sheep, and Peter and many others are called by Jesus to be under-shepherds - to deliver the love and care of the Good Shepherd to His beloved flock.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Why did Jesus ask Peter if Peter loved Jesus more than these? 

  2. When Peter insisted that he would never let Jesus die; what was Peter misunderstanding about the difference between his own death and Jesus’ death?

  3. Why did Jesus ask Peter three times?

  4. How would Peter express his love for Jesus?

  5. What does Peter’s words “you know everything, you know I love you” teach us about true repentance and restoration?  

  6. What is it that the dear sheep of Jesus are to be fed with?

  7. Are pastors and elders the only ones who are to care for the sheep?

  8. Compare the images of fishing and shepherding.