What is the meaning of John 21:15-17?


Hi, Brendan!


This is where context and content meet. While it is true that there are several things at play, the importance of the event is not taking Peter’s denial back (which would seem disproportionate to both Christ’s Justice, Mercy and Love, and to the event itself [only Peter was under the threat of imprisonment/death as John was a familiar and the rest did not seem to be present]) but the Delegation of the Church–which is fully in concordance with:

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

Maran atha!



Brendon thanks for this.

Learn something new every day. I looked it up on bible hub and it is defined as “to act as a shepherd”.

Deep deep stuff here. No doubt Jesus was leaving Peter as the visible shepherd of His Church.

Thanks again.

God Bless


I don’t think I can add anything to those three verses. But did you notice what happened right before that?

The Apostles were on the Barque of Peter.
They were fishing. What did Jesus ask them when He first spoke to them? You will be fishers of men.
They fished all night and caught nothing.
Then Jesus came and told them to throw the net (Peter’s net) over the other side. And the net was full to bursting.
It was so full, the boat almost sank. But Peter dove in and dragged the net out without any help?!!!

A lot of focus on Peter in there.


Here’s how the Church Father St. John Chrysostom interprets this passage:

St.John Chrysostom:
And why, having passed by the others, does He speak with Peter on these matters? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the leader of the band; on this account also Paul went up upon a time to enquire of him rather than the others. And at the same time to show him that he must now be of good cheer, since the denial was done away, Jesus puts into his hands the chief authority among the brethren; and He brings not forward the denial, nor reproaches him with what had taken place, but says, If you love Me, preside over your brethren, and the warm love which you ever manifested, and in which you rejoiced, show thou now; and the life which you said you would lay down for Me, now give for My sheep.


I need to remember this every time somebody says that the Early Church Fathers believed all the Apostles were equal. Thanks.


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