It was a severe personal test, not in private, but in front of his peers. Jesus had just provided breakfast for the fishermen/disciples which was another proof of his resurrection. In this setting, Jesus gets right back to preparing these men for the Day of Pentecost and what would follow.
There is the presence of the other disciples, “Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’” (John 21:15). Obviously, Peter said “Yes”! But Jesus continues His interrogation and probing with the same question two more times, followed each time by ministry instructions. Peter “was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’”
Are you allowing the Lord to ask you penetrating questions that test the purity of your heart for Him? Is your heart agitated with the length or intensity of the test He is taking you through?
My mind goes back to the preparation God took Joseph through before becoming prime minister of Egypt. Sold by his own brothers, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, put in prison and forgotten by fellow inmates who were released. “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love” (Genesis 39:21). It was a very long and severe test, but he never turned his focus away from the God he served. In this, God prepared Joseph for a critical role in Egypt that saved the seed of Abraham.
Check out the blog tomorrow as we look at what happened to Peter after Pentecost.
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