The second question about love (Jn 21:16-21:16)

“A second time,

Jesus said to Simon.

‘Simon!

Son of John!

Do you love me?’

Simon said to him.

‘Yes!

Lord!

You know

That I love you!’

Jesus said to him.

‘Tend my sheep!’”

λέγει αὐτῷ πάλιν δεύτερον Σίμων Ἰωάνου, ἀγαπᾷς με; λέγει αὐτῷ Ναί, Κύριε, σὺ οἶδας ὅτι φιλῶ σε. λέγει αὐτῷ Ποίμαινε τὰ προβάτιά μου.

John uniquely indicated that for a second time (δεύτερον) Jesus said to Simon (λέγει αὐτῷ), once again (πάλιν) calling him Simon (Σίμων), son of John (Ἰωάνου).  This time, Jesus asked the simple question did Simon love him (ἀγαπᾷς με), using the ἀγαπᾷς word.  The answer of Simon Peter to Jesus (λέγει αὐτῷ) was the same as the first time.  Yes (Ναί), Lord (Κύριε), Jesus knew (σὺ οἶδας) that he loved him (ὅτι φιλῶ σε), with the word again as in the last verse, φιλῶ.  Interesting enough, the response of Jesus is almost the same but not quite the same.  He told Simon Peter (λέγει αὐτῷ) to tend (Ποίμαινε) his sheep (τὰ προβάτιά μου) and not feed my little lambs.  There was a subtle difference between feeding and tending, as well as a difference between little lambs and sheep.  There was a repetition with a nuance.  However, the question about love was exactly the same as in the preceding verse except that there was no comparison with the other disciples in this verse.  How great is your love for Jesus?

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