Denials, Restoration, and the Grace Mission


When Peter was forgiven for denying Jesus, the Lord challenged him to take care of Jesus’ sheep in the world.  God’s grace comes with a mission to share it with others and care for others in family of God.  We don’t receive grace in a vacuum.  We pass it on to others…

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!”
John 21:15-19

Peter had denied Jesus three times the night that Jesus was arrested.  He proclaimed that he would never turn his back on the Lord, yet within hours he fell victim to the pressure of the moment.  Would you deny knowing Jesus if under pressure or threat?

Very recently there was a shooting in Oregon in which the shooter asked people of they were Christians, and then he shot those who said yes in the their heads.  Peter might have said no if he was there.  The truth is that even though we never want to deny our Lord, there are circumstances in which many Jesus followers end up in Peter’s situation.

This might happen at school or at work or in a social setting or even under threat of harm.

There is grace and mercy.

When Jesus met his followers on the beach that day, he took Peter aside and asked him three times if Peter loved Jesus.  Of course, Lord, you know I love you… Three denials, three questions, and three affirmations of love.  Jesus was putting Peter’s mistake behind him.  A fresh start.  A new day.  And a job to do…

When Peter was restored from his denial, Jesus challenged him to take care of Jesus’ sheep in the world.  God’s grace comes with a mission to share it with others and care for others in family of God.  We don’t receive grace in a vacuum.

If you have denied Christ, there is forgiveness.  If you have received that forgiveness, pass it on and care for others.  They will need the grace you have received for something in their own life, and who better to pass it to them than someone who received an abundance…

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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