Jesusí Final Words

Text: John 21:15-25

I.          After the breakfast that Jesus prepared for his disciples, Jesus asks Peter a question

             A.         He asked, “Do you love me more than these?”

                          1.          The statement doesn’t translate well. Jesus is using the word for a devoted love. One that continues to give even though it is not returned.

                          2.          The “these” Jesus refers to depends on the context, which is not given.

                                       a.          It could refer to the material things around them: His fishing boat and business. The food that they just finished eating.

                                       b.          It could refer to his fellow disciples and his valued friendship for them.

             B.         Peter’s answer is “You know I love you.”

                          1.          The word Peter uses is one of a best friend.

                          2.          Jesus asks for devotion and Peter offers friendship

             C.         Jesus instructs Peter to care for his sheep

                          1.          By sheep, Jesus is referring to his followers - John 10:27-28

                          2.          By “feeding” or “tending”, Jesus means more than simply teaching his word. Peter is to give care to Jesus’ flock.

             D.         Jesus then repeats his question. And Peter repeats his answer.

                          1.          This time Jesus tells Peter to shepherd his flock.

                          2.          In other words, to watch over the Christians and to protect them from harm

             E.         Finally, Jesus asks a third time, but this time he asks if Peter is his close friend.

                          1.          Peter is grieved that Jesus had to ask three times regarding what he already affirmed.

                          2.          Yet, remember that it is Peter who speaks impetuously.

                          3.          Peter responds the same as before.

             F.         Again Jesus asks him to tend to his followers.

II.         Jesus then gives a glimpse of the future.

             A.         Jesus tells Peter that his freedom would be restricted. That he would go to prison.

                          1.          Peter would die a prisoner.

                          2.          Yet, Jesus wanted Peter to follow him.

                          3.          Jesus also was arrested and died a prisoner.

             B.         Peter wanted to know if John would share the same fate

                          1.          Jesus said that if he was to remain until his return, what did that matter to Peter?

                          2.          First, Jesus did not say that John would not die until he returned. The statement starts with an “If”.

                          3.          Second, the return may be referring to Jesus return to destroy Jerusalem. John is one of the few, if only, disciple to live past the destruction of Jerusalem.

                          4.          Third, he could be refer to John’s vision of Jesus in Revelation in 90 A.D.

             C.         John understood that Jesus wasn’t saying he would not die.

III.        John testifies that his record is true and accurate, but incomplete. He states that a complete record would be impossible to write.