Google+ 04/12/13 Once, twice, Three Times Our Restoration!

John 21:15-17

 

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything.

You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. 

 

Today we begin another three-part devotion which occurs during "breakfast on the beach" with Jesus.  The "interview" in our Scripture today was probably conducted in front of the other six disciples.  Remember that before the crucifixion, Peter had pledged his never-ending love and loyalty to Jesus.  Then, Peter denies Jesus three times.  This subject has not yet been discussed since it occurred.  Peter and Jesus have had no conversation regarding Peter's "change of heart" towards Jesus, which was caused by immense fear.  It is significant that Jesus addresses Peter (the rock) by his old name.  When Jesus speaks to Peter, He calls him "Simon, son of John."  Remember that Jesus changed Simon's name to "Peter" and proclaimed, "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  Notice also, that John, in his narration about the first-person interview of Peter by Jesus, refers to Simon, the son of John, as Peter.  So, the way Jesus speaks to Peter, is as important as what He says.  Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.  Peter responds the same way most of us would to the question.  Peter says, "Yes Lord, you know I love you."  There is a reason Jesus is asking the question.  Peter's denial of Jesus was uncharacteristic of his normal behavior.  I must confess that there have been times in my life when Jesus has said to me, "Dave, do you love me?"  It would be well for all of us to think about something before we answer.  Why is Jesus asking?  Isn't it obvious that we love Him?  We don't want to hear this, but apparently not!  Peter's actions did not reflect a "love" for Jesus.  Peter acted like everyone else that yelled "crucify Him," and at the most awkward time.  Peter did not set out that day to deny Jesus.  Peter did not wake up in the morning and say, "Today is a good day to deny Jesus!"  Peter gave in to the power of the "dark side" and went along with the crowd's popular opinion.  Peter denied Jesus, not once, but three times.  Sound familiar?  We do it all the time.  Often when God needs us most, we deny that we even know Him.  When asked to clarify our position, as Peter was, we deny again and again.  We are afraid that the world will recognize us as one of His followers.  As we all know, the world is not kind to God's people.  If you are not careful, the world will "crucify" you for standing with Jesus.  Feel bad that there was only one disciple at the cross with the two Mary's.  Ask yourself where you stand when the "crucifixions" for God come into your life.  Are you at the cross, standing for Jesus, or will you deny Him three times?  Whatever your answer is today, there is good news.  We can be restored, like Peter.  Be prepared to be questioned by Jesus.  Don't get frustrated, as Peter did, when Jesus repeats Himself three or more times.  After all, we created the denial scenario all on our own.  You must look at Jesus and say, "Jesus, you know I love You," as many times as necessary. In this case be glad, because it is "Once, twice, three times our Restoration!"