John 21:17 says, “The third time he said to him, Simon son of John do you love me? Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” he said, Lord you know all things; you know that I love you. “Jesus said feed my sheep.”
The author of the Gospel of John is said to be the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23). Present in this Gospel is the witness/testimony of John, a man who lived and walked side by side with Jesus during his time on earth.
Contextually, Jesus has risen from the grave and was appearing to his disciples, laying the ground work of salvation, and establishing the authority of his word.
Jesus affirms that Peter loves him. To tend God’s sheep, to feed God’s sheep would require the love of Christ to reign in Peter’s heart; Peter was to devote himself entirely to Jesus.
Jesus speaking to Peter, gave him a three-fold command to “feed my sheep”. The Greek word for feed literally means, pasture (tend) the lambs. It is used in the present tense, denoting a continual action of tending, feeding and caring.
Caring for the lambs/sheep was laborious and troublesome work. People had a difficult time understanding God in their lives. People were weak, programed by the material world. They flip flopped; some were introverted and sluggish, and there were people who were immature, vulnerable and unteachable.
The Lord instructs Peter to provide and supply God’s people with spiritual food. From the new born to the elderly; Peter was too nourish and care for their souls. He was to labor in ushering God’s people into living spiritually mature lives.
Jesus declares that he is the “Good Shepherd.” In essence, Jesus feeds, that is, governs his sheep as he is the only food for their souls. Feed my sheep is a metaphor relative to teaching/proclaiming the word of God (John 10).
John 10:27-28 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
Father in heaven, bless your holy name. Father, thank you for sending us your only begotten Son, in whom we have life, and life eternal. Father, we praise you for the Bible; for the word that is inspired by you. We bless you for the record your Son left for us, and we thank you for the Holy Spirit who reminds us of all Jesus said and did. Father, thank you for faith that come from above, for faith comes by hearing the word of God.
Lord, we are grateful for the many times you held us close when Satan was attacking in ways we could not comprehend. You held us through the storms, trials, and tribulations; you would not let us go. Bless you, praise you, glory to your name! We love you, we honor you, we belong to you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen