1. Study John 13:36-38 and
Mark 14:72. Examine Peter’s failure. Why
is Peter weeping?
In John 13:36-37, Peter, after being told
he cannot go where Jesus is going, is so sure of himself and his love for Christ that he boldly declares that he
would lay his life down for Him. In John 13:38, Jesus predicts that Peter will disown Him three times, and in
Mark 14:72, Jesus’ prediction comes true; Peter denies Him three
times within two hours. Peter failed miserably in the expectations he had in himself; his convictions were more
of bravado than faith. Peter realized that Christ knew him better than he knew himself; Jesus was truly God. Peter
saw Jesus looking at him; he failed Jesus. Peter was very remorseful.
2. How is Peter restored? Study in particular John 21:15-19.
What do you observe? What is the significance of verse 15? What type of "love" is Christ talking about? Is there
a difference in the verb "know" used by Peter in verses 15, 16, and 17? Why is Peter hurt or grieving in verse 17?
In verse 15, Peter is addressed in his full and formal name. This only occurs when matters are
very serious. The question "do you love me" is in a very specific manner regarding a clearly defined attitude
toward the Lord. It is not a question of sentiment, emotion, or intellect.
The word "love" that Christ used was agapao (v. 15 and 16) and phileo (v. 17).
Peter answered using phileo in all his responses. Both Greek words are interchangeable but reflect different
aspects of love. Agapeo refers to a reverent love, a love esteeming the one loved. Phileo refers
more to the emotion and deep passion of love. Christ was asking Peter if he loved Him with every facet of love
one could have: intelligent and emotional, passionate and reasoned, reverent and simple.
Peter grieves at the third repeated question from Christ because he knows that Christ knows
him better than himself. Peter is hurt that Christ still doubts him. "You know that I love you." In verses 15 and
16, the word "know" that Peter used was eido, which implies to know or to be aware of. But he understands
Christ’s question, and despite the pain of perceived doubt, answers differently in verse 17 which is the key to
Peter’s restoration to Christ. In verse 17, the word "know", used twice, is ginosko, which means to know
in an absolute sense. Peter, knowing that he’s been forgiven, is resolute in his commitment to Christ, and knows
that he cannot do this on his own power. Without any doubt, Peter acknowledges that Christ "knows", not in a
superficial sense eido, but in a very deep, personal, and absolute sense ginosko.
After failing to keep his word and denying Jesus, his Lord, Peter had deep remorse and was
repentant. After being lied to and rejected, the Lord still asks "do you love me?" Jesus knew Peter's heart and
restored and renewed his faith. In comparison, Judas Iscariot’s
remorse did not include true repentance (see
What is genuine repentance?);
he did not believe that Jesus was the Savior, the true Redeemer of sin.
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