Just like Peter, who was a close disciple of Jesus but in a time of stress denied three times that he even knew Jesus. Last week I wrote a bit on guilt – imagine the guilt that Peter knew as his Lord was beaten, tortured to death – and then rose from the dead! How could he face Him again??
“When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" John21:15.
John chapter 21 is about a backslider coming home. You and I know stories of those who have followed Christ and then denied him and walked away. My fantastic youth sponsor who ended up wanting other women than his wife. A young pastoral student preaching a sermon who said, “I don’t believe this anymore” and left bible college. A pastoral colleague of mine who fell into sin and left ministry. Just like Peter, who was a close disciple of Jesus but in a time of stress denied three times that he even knew Jesus. Last week I wrote a bit on guilt – imagine the guilt that Peter knew as his Lord was beaten, tortured to death – and then rose from the dead! How could he face Him again??
In this beautiful chapter, some of the disciples are fruitlessly fishing, when Jesus calls them to join him around a fire he has made. The last fire for Peter was in the courtyard of denial. Jesus had made breakfast for them – again as a servant, and he gave them bread and fish – wouldn’t this have evoked the miracles of Jesus providing for hungry people? You can see what Jesus is saying here – “I love you and I am still faithful.”
After breakfast it was time for Jesus to have a talk with Peter. I think Jesus may talk with each of us who have denied in the same way, for He knows all about you and me – our secrets – our sins. Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him – the same number of times that Peter had denied even knowing him – and now Peter (much chastened) said – “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus has him replace denial with love! Based on that renewed love for the Lord, Jesus renewed Peter’s calling to feed and care for the sheep.
Have you been wandering but want to come home? Jesus spoke to the wandering Laodicean church in Revelation 3:19,20: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline, so be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.”
Time to come back to love for Jesus. Time to renew your calling. Time to get back on the horse and ride. The Christian life is a journey to somewhere – eternal life with Christ. There will be bumps along the way, but the Lord is faithful. I like the old adage: Pbpwmginfwmy – ‘please be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet!’
Pastor Leon Throness