Before we finish this little series together, I want to tell you that I love you. Knowing that I have brothers and sisters who are seeking Jesus and longing for His movement in their lives is one of the most encouraging things I can think on. Thank you for your constant encouragement!
Over the past couple of posts, we have taken an in-depth look at the near demise of the Apostle Peter. For the sake of review and to awaken our hearts to engage with the text we will look at today, here is a brief synopsis of the last two posts:
Peter, a passionate Apostle of Jesus, experienced a great shaking of faith at the hand of Satan. Full of self-confidence and self-reliance, Peter openly rejected Jesus Christ three times.
Jesus, being rich in mercy, awakened Peter from his sin-induced spiritual slumber. With one look of His eye, the Son of God shattered the schemes of the devil and brought Peter to repentance…
The last time we left Peter, he was rushing out of the high priest’s courtyard weeping bitterly (Lk. 22:62.) Jesus had awakened him to his indwelling sin; self-reliance. Let us now turn our hearts to the Gospel of John and see how Jesus finishes Peter’s restoration.
In chapter 21, John tells us that some of the disciples, including Peter, have gone fishing on the Sea of Tiberius. They have fished all night and have come back tired and empty handed. Then, in the most wonderful way, Jesus conceals Himself and calls out to the tired fishermen from the shore. The disciples, unaware that they were talking to Jesus, let down their nets at the request of the “stranger” (Jn. 21:6.) The ensuing catch of fish was so immense, they could not haul their nets aboard. Immediately, John looks at Peter and says with absolute certainty, “It is the Lord.”
Can I just pause and giggle for a moment? This is one of my most favorite scenes in the Gospel of John. Look at how Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples (Jn. 21:4-8.) Rather than announce Himself from the sea shore, Jesus lets the disciples, specifically Peter, discover Him.
If you look back to Luke 5:4-9, you will find an almost identical miracle performed by Jesus. Guess who Jesus is sitting with when He does that miracle: Peter. This is the miracle Jesus uses to call Peter out of fishing and into Apostleship (Lk. 5:10-11.) Now, knowing this, look back to John’s gospel and see what Jesus is doing; Jesus is again calling Peter back into Apostleship. But He does it in such a wonderful way!
Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, allowed Peter to put the pieces together. Without a doubt, the moment Peter looked down and saw the amount of fish in his nets, he knew Jesus was on the shore. The memory lodged in the back of his mind rushed to the forefront and flooded him with images of His Lord. His response is fitting; he throws his clothes on and leaps off the boat to Jesus. Jesus used a past experience to reveal Himself to Peter in an intimate way. How beautiful!
After eating breakfast together, Jesus pulls Peter aside. Three times, Jesus repeats this question, “Peter, son of John, do you love me?” A lot can be said about the Greek here. However, I just want to draw our attention to the simplicity of Jesus’ question.
Jesus didn’t make any reference to that cursed night. He never brought up what was seared into Peter’s memory. Instead, He simply asked Peter one question, “Do you love me?” After Peter confirms his love for Jesus, The Son of God restores Peter completely. The simplicity of this conversation is staggering.
Simplicity & Response
How often do I dwell on my past sins and convince myself of my hopelessness? Praise God, Jesus never does this. He did not condemn Peter…He asked the question that really mattered, “Do you love me?”
Are you making this difficult? Are you reliving the sins of the past in your mind? Know this with certainty, this is not your path to restoration. Rather, hear the voice of Jesus asking this question afresh, “Do you love me?” Drop everything and confirm your love for Him. You don’t need to relive or dwell on the past…He isn’t concerning Himself with that. He wants to know one thing; “Do you love me?”
This is the simplicity of the Gospel: Christ is all and in all and has made a way for the ruined and damned to be restored. The burden of Calvary was enough; Jesus has won. Now, trust that His finished work is just that: finished. Give him yourself and declare your love for Him. He is our everything!
I love you,
(P.S. I would love to hear how the Lord has used this series in your life. If you would like, shoot me a message over the “Prayer Request” page or leave a comment below!)