The text for this lesson is John 21:1–19
- We are all like Peter in our words and actions, denying our Lord and weeping bitterly over what we have done. We need the same comfort Peter received—the comfort of sins forgiven and the assurance that even when we are faithless, Jesus remains faithful.
- Law: God demands that I love Him and none other, solely and completely. In my sin, I worship whatever pleases me most at the time.
- Gospel: God’s love is everlasting and ever faithful; even though I deny Him, He forgives me and assures me of His love for Christ’s sake.
- Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love Me?” Discuss how love is portrayed in contemporary books, television, movies, and music. Then explore how God expects us to love Him and others by reading Deuteronomy 6:1–9 and 10:12–13. What is involved in this love, and what do God’s expectations reveal about us?
- What is the nature of God’s love for us? See John 3:16 and Romans 5:6–10.
- The abundant catch of fish represents the future ingathering of disciples of Jesus who will come to faith by the Holy Spirit’s work through the apostolic ministry, as Jesus promised Peter: “From now on you will be catching men” (Luke 5:10). Yet Peter did not become a fisher of men, much less a sheep-feeder, overnight. He failed his Lord many times before and after Christ’s resurrection. Summarize Peter’s track record on the basis of Matthew 16:13–23; 26:30–35; and John 18:10–11, 15–18, 25–27.
- What brought Peter to repentance and kept him from falling away completely? See Luke 22:31–34. What moved Jesus to forgive and reaffirm Peter as an apostle? What similarities exist between John 13:36–38 and 21:15–19?
- Jesus teaches Peter that His love for Jesus will be expressed in action: “Feed My lambs. . . . Tend My sheep. . . . Feed My sheep” (John 21:15–17). According to Acts 2:38–42, how did Peter fulfill Christ’s commission to catch men and feed and tend His sheep?
- How does Acts 5:40–42 describe Peter taking his cross from Christ and following, even through suffering? What does Peter teach Christians about suffering in 1 Peter 3:14–18 and 4:12–19?
- “Do you love Me?” Jesus asked Peter. He asks us the same question. According to John 14:21, 23–24, what will we do if we love Jesus? What commandments and words does Jesus refer to? See John 14:1; Matthew 11:28–30; 26:26–28.