Rev. Matt Ulmer, pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bishop, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study John 21:15-25.
After breakfast on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus speaks to Peter personally. As Peter had denied three times, so Jesus three times restores Peter with confession, forgiveness, and commission. Each time Peter affirms his love for Jesus, the Lord sends Peter to care for His holy flock, that is, His Church. In doing this, Jesus told Peter that he would suffer, yet as Peter followed Jesus, he would follow the Lord out of death and into life. When Peter questioned Jesus about John, Jesus put Peter’s focus back on his own need to follow Him. John clarifies that Jesus had not said John would not die before Jesus’ return, and then John identifies himself as the author and eyewitness of the book. With his last verse, John recalls the purpose writing the things that he did—so that we would believe in Jesus.
“The Word Made Flesh” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. John. The disciple whom Jesus loved wrote his Gospel account as an eyewitness to Jesus’ life and ministry. As we read the Word of God recorded by St. John, the Holy Spirit works in us so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and so have life by faith in His name.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Jesus and Peter
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Jesus and the Beloved Apostle
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers[a] that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
- John 21:23 Or brothers and sisters
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org