Summary: Learning to forgive ourselves as Jesus has forgiven us.
“Breakfast with Jesus”
A chicken and a hog were walking past a church building one day when they noticed the Sunday morning sermon title posted on the sign.
It read “Helping the Poor.”
They walked a ways when the chicken suddenly came up with a suggestion: “Say, brother hog, why don’t we give all the poor people a nice breakfast of ham and eggs?”
The hog thought for a moment and replied, “That’s all right for you to say because for you it is only a contribution, but for me, it’s total commitment!”
Let’s go back three years before our Gospel Lesson for this morning.
Jesus had gone out and selected 12 men.
They were your average everyday kind of guys...and Jesus found them doing your average everyday kind of things...
...and when Jesus found them He said to them “Follow me,” and they dropped their nets...
...they dropped everything they were doing...
...they left everything they had loved...
...everything that was familiar to them...
...and they did it...
...they followed Jesus!
And in following Jesus, they saw some very amazing stuff.
They met a lot of interesting people.
And they began to notice that their priorities had begun to change in some of the most radical of ways.
The things that used to seem important to them...
...well, those things weren’t quite so important anymore...
...what was most important was listening to Jesus teach, helping Jesus minister to the masses, following Jesus wherever the Spirit led.
And as time went by they became more and more convinced that Jesus was exactly who He said He was: The Son of God. The Messiah.
They might not have understood exactly what that meant, and what dimensions that would take, but they came to believe it more than anything else in the whole world.
And out of all of the disciples, Peter was probably the most zealous!
Peter was probably the most excited and excitable of all of them.
And he may have been the most committed to following Jesus.
He never would have imagined that he would be capable of anything else.
In John Chapter 13, when Jesus is telling the disciples about His upcoming death, He says to them, “Where I am going, you cannot come.”
To which Peter asks Him, “Lord where are you going?”, and “ I will lay down my life for you.”
“Then Jesus answered, ‘Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!”
Peter never would have believed it...if only, if only it hadn’t come true.
Peter had failed Jesus.
In Jesus’ darkest hour…when He had needed Peter the most…Peter had failed the Lord!!!
So when we meet Peter at the beginning of our Gospel Lesson for this morning…
…even though Jesus has already appeared to the disciples…and thus to Peter twice…
…Peter was a broken, crushed man.
He had failed the Lord, and in Peter’s eyes…this meant that he had missed the mark…
…he had committed the unforgivable sin…
…he had missed his chance to be part of God’s BIG plan…
…he was headed for hell…
…nothing mattered anymore…
…life had lost it’s luster…
Have you ever found yourself feeling this way?
Have you ever failed the Lord so miserably that you thought He could never, never ever forgive you?
…and even though people have told you over and over again…that Jesus forgives you…
…you still cannot forgive yourself?
Is there anyone here this morning who has disqualified themselves from the race due to some indiscretion?
Do you ever feel as if you simply have too much baggage to follow Jesus?
Do you ever feel, that, you are somehow…just not good enough to make it?
I have a feeling that this is how Peter felt on the morning of our Gospel lesson when he had decided to go back to doing the same thing he had left behind three years earlier.
I think Peter felt lost and confused so he fell back into his old way of doing things…fishing for fish.
Peter was really feeling low, for that is always how it is when, after having experienced LIFE...Real and radical and transforming LIFE through following Jesus...we return to what had kept our interest, our attention, and our love a long time ago…in another life…before we met Christ...for once we become new creations in Christ all things do become new, and we never truly love the old life, the old ways again!!!
And although, we may sometimes fail Jesus, Jesus never fails us!
Jesus never gives up on us no matter what!
For LOVE...Pure and undefiled, unconditional LOVE never gives up!
“Love never fails,” the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13.
And that is what Jesus IS!