A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Jesus and Peter


On the night Jesus had been arrested, Peter had panicked and denied knowing him. The next day Jesus had been put to death by the authorities. Some time later, confused and needing some normality in his life, Peter decided to go fishing. Some of the other disciples went with him. But all night they caught no fish. As dawn broke, they saw a man standing on the shore. He shouted,

‘Have you caught anything? Then throw your net out on the right side of the boat!’

Peter leaps into the water to see JesusAs soon as they did this, so many fish swam into the net that they could not lift it. Then one of them said,

‘It’s Jesus!’

As soon as he heard this, Peter leapt out of the boat and waded ashore to get to him quickly. Jesus had already cooked some fish for them. They all ate on the quiet shore. Then Jesus said,

‘Peter, do you love me most of all?’

Peter said that Jesus knew he did.

‘Feed my lambs,’ Jesus replied.

But then Jesus asked him,

‘Do you really love me?’

Again, Peter said,

‘Lord, you know that I do.’

Jesus told him to look after his sheep for him.

Then he asked Peter the question a third time. Peter was hurt that Jesus did not seem to believe him, so he said,

‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I do love you.’

Jesus said,

‘Feed my sheep.’

In this way, Jesus showed Peter that the three times he had denied knowing Jesus after Jesus had been arrested were cancelled out and forgiven by the three questions and answers. Now Peter had once again been given the task of caring for Jesus’ followers.

The story illustrates:

  • The belief that even someone who had failed so greatly could be forgiven and given an important new role.

Bible References

John 21:1-19
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