Thursday, 11 June 2020 John 21:15-25
“…do you love me more than these?” -John 21:15
In our reading we will examine the conversation between the Lord Jesus and Peter when he reappeared after his resurrection by the Sea of Tiberias. First let’s look into a few facts of Peter’s life. Simon Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus Christ who received a new name from Jesus - Cephas (Aramaic) which means “rock.” It was this Peter who left the boat to walk on the water to Jesus (Matt.14:29) Peter was the one who said that he would never forsake the Lord, even if everyone else did (Matt.26:33). It was Peter who first confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt.16:16) -a truth which Jesus said was divinely revealed to Peter. Peter was a man of great faith, to whom Jesus says in Matthew 16:19, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”
Our text today has to be seen in the light of Peter’s three-fold denial of Jesus at three different occasions when Jesus was arrested before His crucifixion (Luke 24:54-62). Peter wept bitterly when he realized the enormity of what he had done. Now returning to the reading in John 21, Jesus asks Peter three times "Do you love me?” For the three times Peter had denied Jesus, He makes Peter affirm his love for his Master! Peter understood the intention of Jesus and told Him "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” (John 21:17) To remove this cloud of denial and rejection from him, Jesus carefully leads Peter to a unique experience of his reinstating, acceptance and serving the Lord.
We live in a world where perfection is the norm and mistakes are hardly acceptable! How often do we get a second chance when we make mistakes? Knowing his previous acts of denial, yet the Lord’s unending love reaches out to Peter to reinstate him! How great is His love for you and me! No matter how many times we have broken our promises— intentionally and unintentionally, no matter how many times we have failed to resist temptation or haven’t been faithful in our commitments, Jesus still looks at us with love and beckons us by name! Remember, Peter was called once earlier to follow Jesus and had failed. Yet again Jesus was willing to give him another chance!
There is another lesson here we are not to miss: along with the affirmation of love is the assignment of responsibility! Jesus gives Peter the responsibility of “feeding the flock” while following Him. That was a call to bring many to the fold of the Good Shepherd and nurture them for His Kingdom! It is this same Peter who later on preached the gospel touching the lives of 3000 new believers (Acts 2)
We make mistakes and may have grieved our Lord Jesus many times. Yet God loves us so much that He forgives us when we repent and expects each of us to come to His throne of grace and mercy. 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Our GOD is a God of second chance! If you are in a state of unworthiness or guilt, remember Jesus is calling you by name with His arms open. If you decide to truly repent of whatever sin you have committed and surrender your life to Him, He awaits to use you for His kingdom!
Prayer: LORD Jesus, Thank You for forgiving me the many times I have grieved You. Thank You for Your unending love that never lets me go! Help me to grow closer to You and share this love to others. Amen.