Timeless truths from John 21:14-15.
Everything recorded in the Scripture is there for a purpose. Just prior to the record of Jesus asking Peter three times if he loved him, John states, “This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.”
Three! Three is the number of deity. Jesus was in the tomb for three days and nights. What is the significance of the third post resurrection appearance of Jesus? It is then that Jesus asked the threefold question of Peter’s love? Clearly the threefold denial of Peter corresponds to the three opportunities Jesus offered Peter to declare his love. But why the statement that this happened on the third appearance after the resurrection?
In the first two post resurrection appearances Jesus demonstrated His humanity. He ate with the disciples on the first appearance. At the second, He invited Thomas to touch His flesh. But at the third appearance He demonstrated His divinity. He made their fishing productive just as He makes our lives purposeful. He restores us to a position of honor and reconciliation by His grace just as He did Peter. The third appearance revealed the divine grace and love of the second person of the Trinity.
“This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead. When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? ” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.” “Feed My lambs,” He told him.” John 21:14-15 HCSB