John 21:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

New Living Translation
Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know I love you." "Then take care of my sheep," Jesus said.

English Standard Version
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.”

Berean Study Bible
Jesus asked a second time, "Simon son of John, do you love Me?" "Yes, Lord," he answered, "You know I love You." Jesus told him, "Shepherd My sheep."

Berean Literal Bible
He says to him again a second time, "Simon son of John, do you love Me?" He says to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I dearly love You." He says to him, "Shepherd My sheep."

New American Standard Bible
He said to him again 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, "Shepherd My sheep."

King James Bible
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A second time He asked him, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?"" Yes, Lord," he said to Him, "You know that I love You." "Shepherd My sheep," He told him.

International Standard Version
Then he asked him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter told him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus told him, "Take care of my sheep."

NET Bible
Jesus said a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He replied, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you." Jesus told him, "Shepherd my sheep."

New Heart English Bible
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He said to him again a second time, “Shimeon Bar Yonah, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, my Lord. You know that I love you.” Yeshua said to him, “Shepherd my sheep for me.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus asked him again, a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus told him, "Take care of my sheep."

New American Standard 1977
He said to him again 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, “Shepherd My sheep.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He said unto him, Yes, Lord thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my sheep.

King James 2000 Bible
He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; you know that I love you. He said unto him, Feed my sheep.

American King James Version
He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my sheep.

American Standard Version
He saith to him again a second time, Simon,'son of John, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Tend my sheep.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.

Darby Bible Translation
He says to him again a second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He says to him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I am attached to thee. He says to him, Shepherd my sheep.

English Revised Version
He saith to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Tend my sheep.

Webster's Bible Translation
He saith to him again the second time, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith to him, Yes, Lord: thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him, Feed my sheep.

Weymouth New Testament
Again a second time He asked him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Master," he said, "you know that you are dear to me." "Then be a shepherd to my sheep," He said.

World English Bible
He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."

Young's Literal Translation
He saith to him again, a second time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me?' he saith to him, 'Yes, Lord; thou hast known that I dearly love thee;' he saith to him, 'Tend my sheep.'
Study Bible
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15When they had finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” He answered, “You know I love You.” Jesus replied, “Feed My lambs.” 16Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord, he answered, “You know I love You.” Jesus told him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was deeply hurt that Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” “Lord, You know all things;” he replied, “You know I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.…
Cross References
Matthew 2:6
But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.'"

John 21:17
Jesus asked a third time, "Simon son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was deeply hurt that Jesus had asked him a third time, "Do you love Me?" "Lord, You know all things;" he replied, "You know I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

Acts 20:28
Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.

1 Peter 5:2
Be shepherds of God's flock that is among you, watching over them not out of compulsion, but because it is God's will; not out of greed, but out of eagerness;

Revelation 7:17
For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to fountains of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'"
Treasury of Scripture

He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my sheep.

the second.

John 18:17,25 Then said the damsel that kept the door to Peter, Are not you also …

Matthew 26:72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.

my sheep.

John 10:11-16,26,27 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep…

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the …

Psalm 100:3 Know you that the LORD he is God: it is he that has made us, and …

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is …

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate …

Luke 15:3-7 And he spoke this parable to them, saying…

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the …

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, …

1 Peter 2:25 For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd …

(16) He saith to him again the second time.--The question is repeated in exactly the same form, except that our Lord does not continue the comparison "more than these." He uses the same word for the higher, more intellectual love, and Peter replies by the same declaration of personal attachment, and the same appeal to his Master's knowledge of him.

Feed my sheep.--Better, be a shepherd of My sheep. The Vatican and Paris MSS. read "little sheep" here, and in the following verse. (See Note there.)

Verse 16. - He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas (John), lovest thou me? Here our Lord omits, as Peter had done, the "more than these," but he again, with perhaps deeper meaning, uses the word ἀγαπᾶς. Dost thou render me even more in one sense, though less in another, of thy heart's reverence? Dost thou treat me with the confidence and esteem, submission and admiration, which are my due? Again Peter, with his heart bursting with personal affection, feels that he can and must say, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee (φιλῶ ere; i.e. love thee dearly). The commission that follows is the second stage of pastoral office. He saith to him, Tend ("act the part of shepherd") my sheep. Christ is the "good Shepherd," and, as Peter puts it in 1 Peter 5:4, the "chief Shepherd." He has laid down his life with a view of taking it again, and ever after discharging the functions of the Shepherd. He means to bring all the "sheep" into one flock. They shall all hear his voice, and receive from him everlasting life. Meanwhile the leader of the apostles is made to appreciate that love is the condition of all healthy guidance. Faculty for rule is part of the very nature of the pastoral care. The sheep will need this even more than the "lambs;" the old disciples will require, even more than the young converts, both direction and command In this respect the subsequent career of Peter was more conspicuous than that of the rest of the apostles (see Revelation 2:27; Revelation 7:17; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2 for the use of the word). But the shepherding of the sheep is an essentially necessary and integral portion of every pastor's care. When assailed by the wolf of heresy, by the hostile marauder, by new conditions of any kind, by special danger, unless he can in self-forgetting love pilot and protect his flock, he is no true shepherd. He saith unto him again the second time,.... Willing to have the expressions of his love repeated and confirmed;

Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? he leaves out the words, "more than these", though Nonnus expresses them; he saw Peter's heart, and observed the modesty of his answer, and would not urge him any more in that comparative way, only required a repetition of his sincere and hearty love to him:

he saith unto him, yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee; expressing himself in the same language as before; and it is, as if he should say, Lord, what can I say more? I can say no more than I have done, and by that I:abide:

he saith unto him, feed my sheep; both the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and his other sheep among the Gentiles, whom the Father had given him, and he had paid a price for, and must be brought in; these being called, he would have fed with the word and ordinances, with the bread of life, and water of life, not lorded over, and fleeced, and much less worried and destroyed; every instance of care and love shown to these, he takes as a mark of affection and respect to himself. 16. He saith to him … the second time … lovest thou me, etc.—In this repetition of the question, though the wound was meant to be reopened, the words "more than these" are not repeated; for Christ is a tender as well as skilful Physician, and Peter's silence on that point was confession enough of his sin and folly. On Peter's repeating his protestation in the same words, our Lord rises higher in the manifestation of His restoring grace.

Feed—keep.

my sheep—It has been observed that the word here is studiously changed, from one signifying simply to feed, to one signifying to tend as a shepherd, denoting the abiding exercise of that vocation, and in its highest functions.21:15-19 Our Lord addressed Peter by his original name, as if he had forfeited that of Peter through his denying him. He now answered, Thou knowest that I love thee; but without professing to love Jesus more than others. We must not be surprised to have our sincerity called into question, when we ourselves have done that which makes it doubtful. Every remembrance of past sins, even pardoned sins, renews the sorrow of a true penitent. Conscious of integrity, Peter solemnly appealed to Christ, as knowing all things, even the secrets of his heart. It is well when our falls and mistakes make us more humble and watchful. The sincerity of our love to God must be brought to the test; and it behoves us to inquire with earnest, preserving prayer to the heart-searching God, to examine and prove us, whether we are able to stand this test. No one can be qualified to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ, who does not love the good Shepherd more than any earthly advantage or object. It is the great concern of every good man, whatever death he dies, to glorify God in it; for what is our chief end but this, to die to the Lord, at the word of the Lord?
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