Why did Jesus ask Simon Peter to feed his lambs and then ask him to feed his sheep? Is there a difference between a lamb and a sheep concerning the faith?


John 21:15

ESV - 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs.

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
From my understanding, the purpose of the differing terms used was related to the Christian "maturity" of those to whom Jesus was referring. Lambs were those who would be new or weak in faith, with "feeding them" being oriented toward instructing and strengthening them. Sheep would be believers of longer or deeper status, where the feeding would be related to governing them, and providing them with more advanced teaching that would enable them to grow even further in the faith. Jesus' use of both terms indicated that Peter's ministry was to be a comprehensive one, caring for the needs of the entire Christian "flock".

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