Lovest thou me more than these? (agapai me pleon toutwn;). Ablative case of comparison toutwn (disciples) after pleon. Peter had even boasted that he would stand by Christ though all men forsook him ( Mark 14:29 ). We do not know what passed between Jesus and Peter when Jesus first appeared to him ( Luke 24:34 ). But here Christ probes the inmost recesses of Peter's heart to secure the humility necessary for service. I love thee (pilw su). Peter makes no claim here to superior love and passes by the "more than these" and does not even use Christ's word agapaw for high and devoted love, but the humbler word pilew for love as a friend. He insists that Christ knows this in spite of his conduct. Feed my lambs (Boske ta arnia mou). For the old word boskw (to feed as a herdsman) see Matthew 8:33 . Present active imperative here. Arnia is a diminutive of arno (lamb).