Father, as I worship you today, may I be alive to the stirrings of your Spirit in my heart and mind.
Read John 21:15–19
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you’ (Psalm 130:4). Thank God for full forgiveness.
Many of us will have experienced the crippling effect of failure and the guilt and shame that go with it. If we have failed Jesus, perhaps we feel that the relationship is damaged, and that future service is impossible. Perhaps Peter went fishing to take his mind off his failure. Perhaps we sometimes bury ourselves in activity to block out painful memories.
But the only way forward is to face them head on. Jesus helps Peter to do that. Three questions to wipe out the memory of three denials, so that Peter will remember the fire on the beach rather than the fire in the courtyard. It is often said that there is significance in the use of different words for love and that Jesus uses (until the third time) the stronger word, whereas Peter responds with a weaker one. This is far from certain. What is certain is that Jesus wants Peter to have the opportunity to affirm his love, to find forgiveness, and to know that despite failure there is still a place and a role for him.
Whatever our failure, however bad we may feel, Jesus wants us to know that it is not the end. That there is hope and a future. That routes to service are still open.
Are you weighed down with a sense of failure? Allow Jesus to restore, reassure, and recommission you.
Mighty God, penetrate the corners of my heart and give me a right faith, a certain hope, and a perfect love for You.
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