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Survey of the Gospel of John

Bible Study Questions
John 21:15-25

Moving into the Future with Jesus the Living Lord

Paul J. Bucknell


The Bible Teaching Commentary

John 1:21:1-14 | John 1:21:1-14 Questions | John 21:15-25 | John 21:15-25 Questions


Bible study questions on John 21:15-25 provides a key link into the development of the early church and its leaders. Most commonly known is the three "Do you love me?" statements by Jesus to Peter.

Alone with Jesus: Peter, John and Jesus (John 21:15-25)

15 “So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (John 21:15-17).

This talk between Jesus and Peter is well known by the three times Jesus asked Peter whether he loved Him or not. After Peter’s affirmative answers, he is again charged to care for the sheep (the other disciples/believers). The importance of this scene is found in the fact that Jesus embraced Peter despite his betrayal and also re-called him to the leadership role in the church of God.

Bible study questions on John 21:15-25


Jesus’ authority was quite apparent, but at the same time Jesus is reinstating His call towards Peter. This scene produced a deep soul-stretching exercise demanding Peter not to bury himself in his past failures but to focus on the needs of others around him. They need his care.

Our role will be different, but in a similar way we as His disciples are called into an intimate relationship with the resurrected Christ to serve Him here on earth.

Reflection and application questions

  1. studyCommitment times are stretching times. Why? What are some of the deep issues that are brought about when commitments are being sought out? Reflect on your past struggles as necessary.

  2. Who is the leader of the church? Whose lambs are they? Who is to watch over them? How do you know?

Conclusion of John 21:24-25

“24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:24-25).

Reflection and application questions

A video and handout of this lesson is available on the BFF New Testament Library - see below.

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Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted: (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988

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