Both my hands are raised right now. My feet too.
Do you know who else could raise his hand? The Apostle Peter.
Peter was often moved by his strong emotions, blurted out without thinking about what he was saying and usually ended up getting corrected by Jesus. But, Jesus also loved Peter. Even in all of Peters faults, He saw something in him. Jesus knew Peter would deny him three times the night he was taken captive. Peter didn’t believe he would do it, but he did. Carrying around the memory of denying his Lord must have been a heavy burden, a huge regret. How was he to move forward from this kind of mistake?
Jesus, in his mercy and love came to Peter and the disciples and made a point to restore Peter. We see this in John 21:15-19, “After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.” Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, “Follow me.”
Three times Peter denied Jesus, three times Jesus restored Peter. Our Lord is gracious, compassionate and understanding. He never leaves us to wallow in our mistakes. He is there to restore us to himself. And, not only restore us but put us on the path of His great plan for our lives. Jesus restored Peter then told him three times, “feed my sheep!” Jesus called Peter into the ministry of feeding the people the word of God and caring for them. Jesus also revealed a part of Peter’s future.
Peter had much to think about and focus on. His relationship had been restored, the weight removed, a call given and prophecy concerning his future spoken, what did Peter do next? Peter, like so many of us, became distracted from what the Lord was saying to Him. In verse 20-21, “Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?” (Referring to John)
Jesus, the perfect teacher, responded in verses 22-23 saying, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.”
Ouch! I’ve received instruction from the Lord and shortly there after become distracted and headed in a different direction too. What did Jesus tell Peter? YOU—follow me. In the ministry, it’s SO easy to get distracted by others and spend much more time than we should wondering “what’s going to happen to them?”
What has the Lord told you to do? What instruction has he given you concerning your life and ministry? Don’t allow yourself to get distracted and detour from Gods instruction. YOU, follow HIM!
And, if you have been carrying around guilt feeling condemned over a mistake you have made, today is the day to let the Lord restore you. He loves you. Get back up and carry on. He has a plan for your life and your mistakes can only hold you back if you allow them. Receive God’s forgiveness today!
God has a beautiful, amazing and interesting plans for each of our lives. Let’s not allow condemnation and distraction keep us from experiencing His best!
Father, Thank you for loving me so much that you made a way for all my sins and shortcomings to be forgiven. I receive your forgiveness today and thank you for restoring me. I will rejoice that I am free from that burden. You love me and I love you. As I walk in fellowship and you speak to me concerning the plan you have for my life, I will stay focused. I will not be distracted or detoured. Help me to stay on course by your Spirit and your word. In Jesus name, AMEN!