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Summary: A narrative retelling of Peter’s breakfast with Jesus that leads fallen disciples to declare their love for Him, receive His forgiveness and a new assignment to serve Him.

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Text: John 21:4-19

Title: Breakfast with Jesus – or –

A New Assignment for a Fallen Disciple

Series: Conversations with Jesus (C)

Topic: Christian Living

Theme: Christian Living & Failure

Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness Calling God’s people in my care to tell Jesus that they love him as they seek forgiveness for failing him.

Response: Individuals will pray with me telling Jesus that they love him and then they will find a way to share his love with someone in need.

Pattern: A narrative retelling of Peter’s breakfast with Jesus that leads fallen disciples to declare their love for Him, receive His forgiveness and a new assignment to serve Him.

Visual Aid: A small bag of charcoal or (if outdoors) a small charcoal fire.

Intro: A mother from Newfoundland tells this story:

On my father’s birthday, my almost six-year-old son, Keelan, called to wish him a happy birthday.

"Poppy, are you five years old?"

"Yes," my father answered, playing along with a twinkle in his eye.

Then Keelan asked, "Poppy, are you six years old?"

Again my father answered yes. Excitedly, Keelan turned to me and said, "Mommy, Poppy went through all the numbers and had to start over again."

Citation: J. Kay Gillard, Newville, Newfoundland. Christian Reader, "Kids of the Kingdom." © 2001 PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, International

One of the advantages of marking off our lives with birthdays, holidays and sunrises is that each one offers an opportunity to start over. New beginnings are available all the time. We are constantly given reason to hope for another chance at life.

Have you ever wished you could start over? Have you ever thought I wish I could take those words back? When was the last time you said, “If only I had known this a year ago”? Have you ever let someone down and wanted to change it all?

There was a man named Peter who wanted to start over after the very first Resurrection Sunday.

Do you remember his story? Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends. It was Peter, James and John who saw Jesus bring a dead girl back to life. They were the ones who witnessed Jesus’ heavenly glory on the mountain where he spoke with Moses and Elijah.

Peter, James and John also competed with the other disciples to be the greatest in Jesus’ Kingdom (Luke 22:24). The night before the Crucifixion, Peter had announced that he loved Jesus more than all the disciples. He said, “Even if they all desert you I will go with you! Prison? Death? It doesn’t matter, I will never fail you, Jesus.”

Jesus said, “Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:34). And that’s just what happened while Peter warmed himself by a charcoal fire. He said, “I don’t know the man. I don’t know the man. I don’t know the man!” Then Jesus looked across the courtyard at him and Peter realized how badly he had failed. He wept.

Do you remember what Peter did after Jesus’ resurrection? He went home. He went back to fishing for a living. I think he gave up. But then Peter, James and John saw a stranger on the shore after spending the night on the lake.

The man asked, “Do you have any fish?”

When they said, “No,” the stranger told them to throw their nets on the other side of the boat. They did and they could not haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"

Peter, James and John had breakfast with Jesus as they cooked the fish over a charcoal fire. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Peter, "Do you [have an unconditional, totally committed love for me]?"

"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you [like a good friend]."

Jesus said, "Feed my lambs. Make the nurture and growth of new Christians and the next generation your priority."

Again Jesus said, "Peter, do you [have an unconditional, and totally committed love for me]?"

He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you [like a good friend]."

Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep. Guide, protect and provide for the mature Christians."

The third time he said to him, "Peter, do you love me [like a good friend]?"

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me [like a good friend]?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you [like a good friend]."

Jesus said, "Feed my little sheep. I tell you the truth, 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." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

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