John 21:15
New International Version
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

New Living Translation
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "you know I love you." "Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him.

English Standard Version
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.”

Berean Study Bible
When 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.”

Berean Literal Bible
Therefore when they had dined, Jesus says to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He says to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I dearly love You." He says to him, "Feed My lambs."

New American Standard Bible
So 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, "Tend My lambs."

King James Bible
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Christian Standard Bible
When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said to him, "you know that I love you." "Feed my lambs," he told him.

Contemporary English Version
When Jesus and his disciples had finished eating, he asked, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than the others do?" Simon Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, you know I do!" "Then feed my lambs," Jesus said.

Good News Translation
After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?" "Yes, Lord," he answered, "you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Take care of my lambs."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?"" Yes, Lord," he said to Him, "You know that I love You." "Feed My lambs," He told him.

International Standard Version
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" Peter told him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus told him, "Feed my lambs."

NET Bible
Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?" He replied, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you." Jesus told him, "Feed my lambs."

New Heart English Bible
So when they had eaten their 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 have affection for you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And after they had breakfast, Yeshua said to Shimeon Kaypha, “Shimeon, Bar Yonah, do you love me more than these things?” He said to him, “Yes, my Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Shepherd my lambs for me.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
After they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than the other disciples do?" Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus told him, "Feed my lambs."

New American Standard 1977
So 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, “Tend My lambs.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He said unto him, Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my lambs.

King James 2000 Bible
So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; you know that I love you. He said unto him, Feed my lambs.

American King James Version
So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my lambs.

American Standard Version
So when they had broken their fast, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon,'son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.

Darby Bible Translation
When therefore they had dined, Jesus says to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He says to him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I am attached to thee. He says to him, Feed my lambs.

English Revised Version
So when they had broken their fast, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Webster's Bible Translation
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him, Yes, Lord: thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him, Feed my lambs.

Weymouth New Testament
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others do?" "Yes, Master," was his answer; "you know that you are dear to me." "Then feed my lambs," replied Jesus.

World English Bible
So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."

Young's Literal Translation
When, therefore, they dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou love me more than these?' he saith to him, 'Yes, Lord; thou hast known that I dearly love thee;' he saith to him, 'Feed my lambs.'
Study Bible
Jesus Reinstates Peter
14This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead. 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.”…
Cross References
Ezekiel 34:2
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: 'Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who only feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed their flock?

Matthew 16:17
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven.

Matthew 26:33
Peter said to Him, "Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will."

Mark 14:29
Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I never will."

Luke 12:32
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.

Luke 22:32
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

John 1:42
Andrew brought him to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which is translated as Peter).

John 13:37
"Lord," said Peter, "why can't I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You."

John 21:12
"Come, have breakfast," Jesus said to them. None of the disciples dared to ask Him, "Who are You?" They knew it was the Lord.

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.

Acts 20:29
I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

Treasury of Scripture

So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my lambs.

son.

John 21:16,17
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…

John 1:42
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Jona.

Matthew 16:17
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Bar-jona.

John 8:42
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 14:15-24
If ye love me, keep my commandments…

John 16:27
For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

more.

John 21:7
Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

Matthew 26:33,35
Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended…

Mark 14:29
But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.

thou knowest.

John 21:17
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

2 Samuel 7:20
And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.

2 Kings 20:3
I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

Feed.

Psalm 78:70-72
He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: …

Jeremiah 3:15
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.







Lexicon
When
Ὅτε (Hote)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3753: When, at which time. From hos and te; at which too, i.e. When.

they had finished eating,
ἠρίστησαν (ēristēsan)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 709: To breakfast, dine. From ariston; to take the principle meal.

Jesus
Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

asked
λέγει (legei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

Simon
Σίμωνι (Simōni)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4613: Simon. Of Hebrew origin; Simon, the name of nine Israelites.

Peter,
Πέτρῳ (Petrō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4074: Peter, a Greek name meaning rock. Apparently a primary word; a rock; as a name, Petrus, an apostle.

“Simon
Σίμων (Simōn)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4613: Simon. Of Hebrew origin; Simon, the name of nine Israelites.

[son] of John,
Ἰωάννου (Iōannou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2491: Of Hebrew origin; Joannes, the name of four Israelites.

do you love
ἀγαπᾷς (agapas)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 25: To love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. Perhaps from agan; to love.

Me
με (me)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

more
πλέον (pleon)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Singular - Comparative
Strong's Greek 4119: Or neuter pleion, or pleon comparative of polus; more in quantity, number, or quality; also the major portion.

than these?”
τούτων (toutōn)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3778: This; he, she, it.

“Yes,
Ναί (Nai)
Particle
Strong's Greek 3483: Yes, certainly, even so. A primary particle of strong affirmation; yes.

Lord,”
Κύριε (Kyrie)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2962: Lord, master, sir; the Lord. From kuros; supreme in authority, i.e. controller; by implication, Master.

he answered,
Λέγει (Legei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

“You
σὺ (sy)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

know
οἶδας (oidas)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1492: To know, remember, appreciate.

I love
φιλῶ (philō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 5368: From philos; to be a friend to (an individual or an object), i.e. Have affection for; specially, to kiss.

You.”
σε (se)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

[Jesus] replied,
Λέγει (Legei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

“Feed
Βόσκε (Boske)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1006: To feed, pasture. A prolonged form of a primary verb; to pasture; by extension to, fodder; reflexively, to graze.

My
μου (mou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

lambs.”
ἀρνία (arnia)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 721: (originally: a little lamb, but diminutive force was lost), a lamb. Diminutive from aren; a lambkin.
(15) Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas.--The better text here and in John 21:16-17, is, Simon, son of John. The contrast of the name by which the Evangelist denotes, and with that by which the Lord addresses Peter, at once strikes us as significant, and the more so because it comes in a context containing several significant verbal contrasts. Our Lord's words would seem to address him as one who had fallen from the steadfastness of the Rock-man, and had been true rather to his natural than to his apostolic name. (Comp. Note on John 1:42, and Matthew 16:17.)

Lovest thou me more than these?--i.e., than these disciples who are present here with thee. It seems unnecessary to add this explanation, but not a few English notes on this verse explain the word "these" of the fishes, or of the boats and nets, as though the question was, "Lovest thou Me more than thy worldly calling? Art thou willing to give up all for Me?" The obvious reference is to Peter's own comparison of himself with others in the confidence of love which he thought could never fail. (Comp. Matthew 26:33; Mark 14:29.)

The thrice-asked question has been generally understood to have special force in the restoration of him who had thrice denied his Lord, and now thrice declares his love for Him, and is thrice entrusted with a work for Him; and we feel that this interpretation gives a natural meaning to the emphasis of these verses. It may not be fanciful to trace significance, even in the external circumstances under which the question was asked. By the side of the lake after casting his net into the sea had Peter first been called to be a fisher of men (Matthew 4:19). The lake, the very spot on the shore, the nets, the boat, would bring back to his mind in all their fulness the thoughts of the day which had been the turning-point of his life. By the side of the "fire of coals" (see Note on John 18:18, the only other place where the word occurs) he had denied his Lord. As the eye rests upon the "fire of coals" before him, and he is conscious of the presence of the Lord, who knows all things (John 21:17), burning thoughts of penitence and shame may have come to his mind, and these may have been the true preparation for the words which follow.

Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.--Peter uses a less strong expression for love than that which had been used by our Lord. The question seems to ask, "Dost thou in the full determination of the will, in profound reverence and devotion, love Me?" The answer seems to say, "Thou knowest me; I dare not now declare this fixed determination of the will, but in the fulness of personal affection I dare answer, and Thou knowest that even in my denials it was true, 'I love Thee.'"

He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.--More exactly, little lambs.

Verses 15-19. -

(2) The revelations to be made in the services dictated by love and issuing in martyrdom. The confession made by Simon Peter, and the charge given to him. Verse 15. - When therefore they had breakfasted, Jesus saith to Simon Peter. His full name and Christ-given appellation is in the mind of the evangelist; but he, with marked emphasis, shows that our Lord went back to his relations with Simon before the latter's first introduction to him (see John 1:42, etc.), and recalls the attitude Christ had taken to Simon on more than one memorable occasion (Matthew 16:17; Luke 22:31). On two of these occasions the simple humanity of the apostle was the basis on which the Lord proceeded to confer upon him the high official designation. The grace of God, in the first instance, selected Simon of Jonah to be a rock. In the second, "not flesh and blood," but the Father's grace, revealed the mystery of the Divine Sonship to him, and won the name of Peter. In the third, the utter weakness of Simon's own flesh reveals the power of the prayer of Jesus for him, so that he might ultimately convert his brethren; and now "Simon" is reinstated after his fall into his apostolic office. Simon, son of Jona - or, John (see John 1:42, note) - lovest thou me more than these? i.e. more than these other disciples love me? Thou hast seen more of my compassion, farther into my heart, deeper into my Person, my position, and my work, than they have done; thou hast dared again and again to ask for higher service and more conspicuous distinction. Thou hast made louder protestations than any of these of thine unworthiness to serve me, and in the deep consciousness of humiliation thou hast been more emphatic than any of them in refusing grace which thou thoughtest it might dishonor me to give. Thou didst indeed say, "Though all men should be offended at me or should deny me," thou wouldst never be offended and never deny me. "Dost thou love me more than they do?" There is no positive reference to the denial and fall of Peter; but the implication and suggestion cannot be hidden, though Hengstenberg and others fail to appreciate it. The circumstance that Peter was "grieved" because the Lord put this question to him a third time makes the reference very little less than explicit. The real significance of the narrative is the reinstitution of Peter in the position of importance he had filled throughout, and an indication of the nature and quality of that service. In Simon's reply, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee, three things are very noticeable.

(1) Peter says nothing of the superiority of his affection for his Lord over that of his colleagues. Had they not in outward act been more faithful than he? He could not arrogate any sweeter, dearer, more abounding affection than he was willing to believe that they felt for their Master. It is scarcely worth while to notice the miserable translation that some few commentators have suggested: "Lovest thou me more than (thou lovest) these fishing-smacks and this thriving business on the lake?" Observe

(2) Peter's admission that the Lord knew his inmost heart, concedes, therefore, that the question was merely intended to test his faithfulness, and force him to a more salutary and binding acknowledgment. Notice

(3) Peter's change of phraseology. The word used for "love" by the Lord is ἀγαπάω, but that which is used in response by the apostle is φιλῶ, the love of natural emotion, and even tender, intimate, personal affection. The Latin language, by rendering φιλῶ by amo rather than diligo, expresses the subtle shades of meaning between φιλεῖν and ἀγαπᾶν. There is, however, no English word but "love" for them both. The admirable remarks of Archbishop Trench ('Synonyms of New Testament,' § 12.) find special illustration in these verses. Many passages occur in which amo and φιλέω seem to mean more and have deeper intensity than diligo and ἀγαπάω. Amari is the affection which a friend may desire from a friend, even more than diligi; but the latter denotes choice, mental conviction, and self-recognition of the fact. Antony, in his funeral oration over Caesar (Dion Cassius, 41:48, quoted by Trench), says, Ἐφιλάσατε αὐτὸν ὡς πατέρα καὶ ἠγαπήσατε ὡς εὐεργέτην. Thus in the New Testament we are continually told of the ἀγαπᾶν τὸν Θεόν, but never of the φιλεῖν τὸν Θεόν. God is himself said to ἀγαπᾶν and φιλεῖν τὸν υἱόν. When, therefore, the Lord here asks Simon, Ἀγαπᾶς," Dost thou esteem me worthy of thy love?" Simon, with a burst of personal affection, says, yet with a certain humility, "I love thee" - meaning, "Such love as I can lavish upon thee, such as I may dare in my humility to offer thee, O my Master, Brother, Friend!" This being the case, Jesus saith, Feed my lambs. Love to Christ is the first, high, main condition of faithful service. The chief of the apostles will have this as his prime, chief, and most laudable service. Each of the terms of the commission, in its threefold repetition, resembles the other; and Meyer says the whole duty of the pastor of souls and earthly shepherd of the flock is involved in each of the three expressions. Our Lord commences, however, with providing true food, seasonable nourishment, for the "lambs" of the flock. The tender emotion involved in the term cannot be excluded, but it is a comprehensive and suggestive one, and embraces the young converts, the first believers, those who with impetuosity and gladness receive the Word; the little children who will literally crowd into the Church become the highest and sacredest care of the chiefest apostles and most honored of pastors. The first, the main thing they need, is the milk of the Word, and the sweetest pastures. This consideration of the next generation, and gracious care for the children and the childlike of every successive age, is one of the sacred signs of Divine revelation. Our Lord is represented in the synopties as "suffering the little children" to "come to" him, as "blessing them," and rejoicing in their hosannas. St. John preserves and glorifies the whole conception by recording this commission of the risen Lord to the greatest of the apostles. If the babes and sucklings had "held their peace, the stones would have cried out," is the pathetic approval of the rejected Lord. "Feed my lambs" is the gracious, unexpected summons of the triumphant Christ and Lord of all. 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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