Peter cannot bring himself to say that he loves (agapao) Jesus. The best type of love that he believes he has is phileo or brotherly love. Jesus continues to prompt him to feed his sheep and lambs. Peter cannot get past his failure of denying Christ. How can he feed God’s lambs and sheep with such limited love?
Jesus knows his inner turmoil and condition of love. He then–with that understanding confirmed–gives the charge again to Peter. God’s calling upon Peter’s life was prior to his failure and in recognition of it. He wanted Peter to know that regardless of what had happened, he still wanted him to be an Apostle.
Like Peter, we sometimes limit ourselves from what God has planned for us. We get so focused on our failures and cannot see God’s plan or believe his calling is upon our lives.
Instead of trying to figure it out, we should just listen to the voice of God’s leading. He will lead us to exactly where he wants us to be.