John 21 New International Version
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 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. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
Lord, Thou art questioning, “Lovest thou Me?”
Yea, Lord, Thou knowest, my answer must be;
But since love’s value is proved by love’s test,
Jesus, I’ll give Thee the dearest and best.
All in my heart, Lord, Thou canst read;
Master, Thou knowest I love Thee indeed.
Ask what Thou wilt my devotion to test:
I will surrender the dearest and best.
How couldst Thou smile on me if, in my heart,
I were unwilling from treasures to part?
Since my redemption cost Thee such a price,
Utmost surrender alone will suffice.
Down at Thy feet all my fears I let go;
Back on Thy strength all my weakness I throw;
Lord, in my life Thou shalt have Thine own way;
Speak but the word, and Thy child will obey.
“Lovest thou Me?” is the poignant question Jesus asked Peter soon after His Resurrection. Ruth Tracy, this song’s author, seems to have felt the Lord was asking the same of her, and she was compelled to surrender everything in her life to Him. Note that she surrendered not only good “treasures”, but also her fear and weakness. Sometimes we hold onto our fear and other negative feelings because we are afraid, paradoxically, of letting go of something so familiar!