There was a time when my kids were little and either my wife and I would ask how much they love us. It was so cute as they would spread their arms as wide as they could get them and say, “That much!” And sometimes they would do it without even being asked. How cool is that? 🙂
Now that they are young adults, we know they still love us, but the dynamics have changed. We no longer ask that question knowing the response is different.
It is interesting in John 21 Jesus poses this question “do you love me?” We have to remember the last time the Bible had mentioned Peter and Jesus together in Luke 22:54-62 Peter was denying Jesus publicly, possibly even throwing in some cuss words to distance himself from the Lord. “I don’t know the blanket blank man”. Then when the rooster crowed as Jesus said would happen and Peter went out and wept bitterly.
It is also interesting to note the actual question. Jesus did not ask about a profession of faith or being one of the apostles. He asked “do you love me”?. There is a HUGE difference
We may already have a profession of faith and be a follower of Jesus as a Christian. But do we love Jesus? If we have slipped away, what a comfort to know that just like in Peter’s situation, Jesus is here to tenderly restore us.