Summary: Part 4 of a 5 part series on the lives of those who were changed from an encounter with Jesus
Encountering Jesus - Peter
Text: John 21:15-23
Subtext: John 18:15-18, 25-27
This message is part 4 of a 5 part series on Encountering Jesus and was preached by Rev. Mike Brown Student Pastor at Calvary Assembly of God
Peter had many encounters with Jesus. Let’s look at a few of his others before we get to the one we will be looking at today.
Matthew 4:18-19 - Jesus calls Peter; Peter immediately leaves his nets and follows Jesus
Matthew 16:16-18 - Peter confesses Jesus as Christ; Jesus says that upon that rock (the confession) the church will be built
Matthew 26:31-35 - Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him; Peter says, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
John 18:10 - Jesus is about to be arrested when Peter cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear
John 18:15-18, 25-27 - Peter denies Jesus
Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, "You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, "You also are not one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.
Have you ever been at that place?
This brings us to our passage today and the encounter that Peter had with Jesus that we will look at.
What does an encounter with Jesus look like for us after we’ve messed up?
Read John 21:15-23
1. Jesus forgives us completely and wants us to know it
It’s no coincidence that Jesus asks Peter this same question 3 times. After all it was 3 times that Peter denied Jesus.
Jesus wanted to ensure that Peter was fully and completely forgiven for what he had done
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him
As part of this, however, remember that we must have repentant hearts. Repentance means turning around and going in the opposite direction. In order for us to have a repentant heart we must mourn our sin.
Matthew 5:4 tells us, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Notice that John 21:17 indicates that Peter was “grieved” when Jesus asked the question the third time. Peter made the same connection we are. He was truly sorry for his sin. In fact, Mark’s account of Peter’s denial reads, “And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he broke down and wept.”
Jesus is looking for people who mourn their sin. Jesus is looking for people who want to repent--that is, who want to stop living for the flesh and start living for God
2. Jesus meets us where we are
The English language truly is limited at times. We really only have one word for “love.” It can mean so many different things.
In fact, in the past month, I’m pretty certain that I’ve claimed to “love” the following:
Rock n Roll
The list could go on, but I think you get the point. I mean completely different things when I say that I “love” my wife versus when I say that I “love” ice cream.
The language this passage was originally written in--Greek--isn’t as limited as English as they have numerous words for love, depending on their meaning. We read “love” in each of Jesus’ questions and “love” in each of Peter’s responses. However, there are two different words being used: agape and philia.