Sunday Reflection, Easter III – May 1, 2022


Jesus Commissions Peter

John 21 Jesus later appeared to his disciples along the shore of Lake Tiberias. Simon Peter, Thomas the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, and the brothers James and John, were there, together with two other disciples. Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing!”

The others said, “We will go with you.” They went out in their boat. But they didn’t catch a thing that night.

Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize who he was. Jesus shouted, “Friends, have you caught anything?”

“No!” they answered.

 So he told them, “Let your net down on the right side of your boat, and you will catch some fish.”

They did, and the net was so full of fish that they could not drag it up into the boat.

Jesus’ favorite disciple told Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon heard it was the Lord, he put on the clothes he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into the water. The boat was only about 100 meters from shore. So the other disciples stayed in the boat and dragged in the net full of fish.

When the disciples got out of the boat, they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. 10 Jesus told his disciples, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” 11 Simon Peter got back into the boat and dragged the net to shore. In it were 153 large fish, but still the net did not rip.

12 Jesus said, “Come and eat!” But none of the disciples dared ask who he was. They knew he was the Lord. 13 Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave some of it to his disciples. He did the same with the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from death.

15 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.

16 Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus told him.

17 Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”

Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you for certain that when you were a young man, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will hold out your hands. Then others will wrap your belt around you and lead you where you don’t want to go.”

19 Jesus said this to tell how Peter would die and bring honor to God. Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Peter, feed my sheep (May 1st)

Read John 21:1-19 with your family.

The writers of the Gospels had many names for the followers of Jesus, not just the closest ones being called ‘disciples’, but all of Jesus’ followers. ‘Sheep’ was a word they used often because everyone in Galilee and Judah grew up seeing sheep and shepherds all over the countryside. It was familiar.

Sheep and shepherds had a very special relationship. Shepherds would fight wild animals and robbers, and stay with the sheep in all kinds of weather. The sheep followed their shepherd everywhere, knowing their shepherd’s special whistle and calls, and were confidence in the care and protection of that shepherd.

After resurrection, Jesus told his followers that he was leaving and his closest disciples were now responsible to take care of all the people who had started following Jesus.

Peter was one of those disciples. Even though he denied knowing Jesus three times when he was challenged before Jesus’ trial and execution, this story shows that Peter felt sorry and three times he promised that he really did love Jesus and was now brave enough to do what Jesus asked of him.