I preached Sunday at the Lynchburg RB mission on John 21:1-19 (listen here), including Christ’s threefold question of Peter, “Lovest thou me?”, and his corresponding threefold commission to feed his sheep (see vv. 15-17). Matthew Poole has some interesting takes on why this question/commission was threefold:
Divines raise a question, why our Saviour propounds this question thrice to Peter. The most of the ancients agree, that it was because Peter thrice denied him. Some say it was to show his great love to his church, which he could not commit to Peter but after three inquiries if he truly loved him, who was the Lord of it. Others refer it to the three ways by which good pastors ought to feed the church; prayer, preaching, and a holy life. Others think, that it hath reference to the three flocks that Peter was to feed; the Jews in Judea, the Gentiles, the dispersed among the Gentiles.
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