Peter, Do You Love Me?: The Restoring Love of Our Really Risen Lord

Brian Mahon - 4/4/2021


Call to worship: Luke 24:1-12

Text: John 21:15-19

Sermon Outline:

  1. The minister the risen Jesus is for a fledgling Peter, 21:15-17. Note:
  2. From the context:

    • A fact: Jesus is risen.
    • A failure: the disciples misunderstood it's ramifications for them.

    From the text:

    • Christ's restoring love: His heart for His own, here, particularly Peter.
    • Christ's revealing question: Do you love Me?
    • Christ's reaffirming response: Tend My sheep.
  3. The apologetic Peter will then become for the risen Jesus, 21:18-19.
    • Christ's prophecy for Peter.
    • Christ's call to Peter.
    • Peter's dying love for Jesus, an apologetic that He is risen indeed.



  1. Read John 21:15-19. It's quite rich. Be fed by it. Then, feed your own. Then, come hungry on the Lord's Day for more.
  2. In John 21:15, Jesus asks Peter of his love. What's meant by 'more than these'? What's Jesus after? What's behind the scenes of Peter's heart that Jesus means to reveal?
  3. In John 21:17, Jesus asks Peter a third time. How is Peter's response different? Why is it different? And why has Jesus kept pressing? Does healing sometimes necessitate wounding? Also, don't skim past the details of the actual questions, Do you love Me? What does Jesus emphasize as the true tests of a truly Christian heart and ministry? And how does Jesus respond to Peter's affirmations? What does that reveal about the application of our love for Christ? How does Jesus say we show love to Him?
  4. In John 21:18-19, Jesus prophecies of Peter's death. John's parenthetical narration makes this clear. What does Jesus' prophecy imply about His knowledge of Peter, Peter's life, Peter's death, Who Jesus is? What solace is in this for us? What calling (as indicated by John's narration)?
  5. After Jesus prophecies Peter's martyrdom, He calls Peter to follow Him---and Peter still does it. How does this (and the next 30 years of Peter's life and eventual death for Christ) testify to the truthfulness of the Gospel news: the crucified Jesus died and is now alive from the dead? How can we account for Peter's change? His boldness? His endurance? Even to death, perhaps, on a cross? Is this what the fact of the risen Lord, His perpetual love, and our future resurrection does for us? As He lives, trust His love, and ask Him to make you whatever He wills for His glory.
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