A Question and an Answer
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?
Read John 21:15-17
The Lord Jesus’ meeting with His disciples around the coals of fire by the Sea
of Tiberias is a well-known scene to many of us. It is also a well-liked text
for a Confession of Faith service shortly after Easter. The question raised in
this episode comes from the Lord Jesus. And the given answer also circles
This question confronts you today; the Lord looks at you when this question
is asked. Perhaps He also started probing you with the same question
he directed to Peter, using the highest form of love. Maybe He immediately
moved on to the second question because you did not dare to affirm such
lofty love. Or, possibly it was because you didn’t dare to affirm this because,
just as in Peter’s case, the Lord looked at you. Maybe the Lord had to stoop
How do you respond to Christ’s question? Are you pained because you do
not give Him the love He deserves? Do you lament because you know perfectly
well why the Lord questions you the third time regarding the sincerity
of your love? Are you inclined to reply, “Lord, Thou knowest all things?” But
can you also say before God, “In spite of knowing all my failures, Thou knowest
that my heart goes out to Thee?”
Thought: Is this your confession? If so, then repeat the words of the Psalmist
as well, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my
thoughts …. and lead in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23, 24)
Psalter 384:1, 2, 5 (based on Psalm 139)
O Lord, my inmost heart and thought Thy searching eye doth see;
Where’er I rest, where’er I go, My ways are known to Thee.
Each spoken word, each silent tho’t, Thou, Lord, dost understand;
Before me and behind art Thou, Restraining by Thy hand.
Search me, O God, and know my heart, Try me, my tho’ts to know;
O lead me, if in sin I stray, In paths of life to go.