Summary: Our failures are not final. Jesus looked at Peter and saw his future, not his failures.


“Commitment Issues”

John 18:15-18; 25-27

All of us have at least one. All of us have at least one sound that we really hate to hear. For some it’s the sound of the dentist drilling inside your mouth---for others it may be the sound of screeching tires on pavement. For me it’s when someone drags their fingernails across a chalkboard. But is not always the sound that really bothers us. Sometimes it’s the memories that go with it. If you have ever been in a car accident you know what happens to your body when you hear screeching tires. You clench up. You still react physically because you know something bad is about to happen

Peter heard the rooster crow. Any other time it would be a signal to get up and start your day. For many years farmers used them like an alarm clock. It was the sound of a new beginning; a fresh start. But not for Peter. I figure that every time Peter heard a rooster crow, it probably reminded him of the day he denied Jesus.

You see, we know Peter-we know what his personality was like for several reasons. We know Peter because he stepped out of the boat. We know Peter because he drew his sword and cut off the soldier’s ear. We know Peter because we probably all have at least one friend like him. They are a good friend when things are going well but things get tough--- and suddenly they are nowhere to be found. When Peter walked on the water we sometimes forget to mention that Peter didn’t believe in Jesus at first. Peter says Lord if that is you... if that’s really you... Stand there while I come out on the water. Jesus basically says “come on.” And Peter does. And then he sinks. And he sinks because he has doubts. He doubts Jesus and he doubted himself.

Now here’s a theological question for you. Did Jesus know how all of this was going to turn out? Did Jesus know Peter was going to sink that day? Did Jesus know Peter would deny him? I believe he did. Because from the very beginning Jesus is trying to create something new in Peter. Jesus knew Peter would sink; he knew Peter would deny that he even knew him. And Jesus still allowed these things to happen. Jesus knew Peter would fail but he also knew something else.

Our failures are not final. Jesus looked at Peter and saw his future, not his failures.

I think that many of us can actually identify with Peter. We can relate to him.

• Because we act before we think.

• We speak before we think.

• We trust ourselves before we trust someone else.

• We speak up but for all the wrong reasons.

We relate to Peter because we really, really, really want to be like Jesus but when it comes down to the bottom line---when it comes down to making that commitment, we deny him, we sink; we have more words than we have actions. Commitment is a difficult thing for many people-men and women alike. We talk about our commitment; we even make plans, maybe even set some goals but when it comes time to pull the trigger, to cross the line, to step up to the plate, we sing.

Up to this point, Peter had been walking with Jesus for close to three years. He followed him everywhere. Peter was there when Jesus changed the water to wine, when Jesus challenged him to step out onto the water and when Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave. The Bible tells us that one time; this was after the resurrection that seven of the disciples were together and they went out the boat. They fished all night but caught nothing. The next morning after they had fished all night, Jesus saw them out on the lake and he called out to them ….hey guys didn’t you catch anything? Don’t you love that? Someone always has to point it out.

He says, throw your net out on the right side of the boat and you’ll find some. So they did and sure enough they caught so many in the net; they were unable to haul them all in. The Bible says they were all large fish-there were so many they counted them---fisherman do that----there were 153 fish. Peter saw some powerful miracles during his time with Jesus. He saw all of these miracles but yet when it came right down to it, when this young girl said to him, aren’t you the one I saw with Jesus. He said to her, I am not. He was asked in fact two more times. Each time he gave the same response. Not me. I don’t know him.

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