Have you ever asked a question for the purpose of teaching a lesson? Maybe you ask, “How many slices of pizza did you eat?” because you know your child is about to get sick. Or maybe, “Why do you think it turned out that way?” because you want your friend to think of making a better choice in the future. Jesus was the wisest question asker and often His questions would cut deep to the core issues at hand.
In John 21:15 Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Peter if he agape loved him, which refers to the highest form of love, a selfless love which puts others first. This question would have cut deep for Peter because he knows earlier he had denied even knowing Jesus. Peter responds saying he phileo loves Jesus, or another way of putting it is he loves Jesus like a brother. And Jesus responds by telling him to feed His lambs.
Jesus doesn’t allow Peter off the hook though, and He asks him two more times. Three times, the Savior of the Universe asked Peter if he loved Him and then challenged Peter to feed and take care of His sheep. Jesus was using this question to encourage and restore Peter from someone who denied Him to someone who would lead the church. Jesus was re-commissioning Peter to boldly take on the mission of disciple-making.
I can’t help but read this account and think about the questions Jesus might ask people today to re-commission them for making disciples. Maybe Jesus would ask you, “How much time did you spend watching Netflix today?” Jesus might ask, “Do you think more about what you will eat for lunch than inviting your coworker to know Me?” Or maybe Jesus would ask, “Why are those Instagram likes so important to you?” And none of these questions would be condemning but rather questions to help us refocus on the most important thing.
In John 21 we see Jesus restored Peter’s identity as a disciple-maker and He is ready to do the same for you today. Take a minute, get rid of distractions, and listen to the questions Jesus might be placing on your heart to restore you.