Summary: Christian God is the God of "second chance."
EARNING ANOTHER CHANCE
GOAL: To inform the listeners that God is the God of “second chance.”
Granting another chance to an offender is not easy and yet this is the attitude that Jesus exemplified to His disciples. Some of us may not agree with the idea of giving another chance to a person who offended us or others may agree that we should.
What qualifies a person to receive a second chance in life to prove that he is worthy? Does the nature of offense matter? What criteria should we use in granting an offender a second chance? Please open your bibles to John 21:15-23.
We recall that Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him (See Matthew 26:31-35). In that conversation Peter said “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” By the way, not only Peter made that promise but the rest of the disciples (See Matthew 26:35).
Few days after, Peter denied Jesus three times and he remembered what Jesus said and wept bitterly signifying his humility and repentance (See Matthew 26:69-75). Among the disciples, only John stood by the Lord at the cross (See John 19:26-27).
After Christ’s resurrection, He appeared and stayed with the disciples for 40 days. Before He ascended to heaven, He reinstated Peter to ministry and most likely every one of them. John 21:15-23 shows how Jesus reinstated Peter to ministry.
APPLICATION Jesus revealed that God is the God of “another chance.” The disciples repented and returned to Him and gave them another chance to be His witnesses. Instead of gathering new sets of disciples, He reinstated and taught them how to be faithful ones.
God does not want his followers to end in failures but learn from their failures and proceed with their allegiance with Him. Let us not hesitate to return to the Lord when we have failed Him once and twice. We all have failed the Lord one way or another in varying degrees and different situations.
After we have suffered the consequences of our actions and learned from the experience, with all humility let us go back to the Lord for He is ready to give us another chance. With that in mind, let us also learn to give another chance to people who have failed us in the past.
How did Jesus reinstate Peter for ministry? Jesus reinstated Peter for ministry by conducting check-ups.
1. Jesus reinstated Peter for ministry by checking on his motive. (John 21:15-17)
Peter denied Jesus three times, now Jesus asked him three times if he truly loves him. Jesus would like to find out if Peter’s love for Him is greater than the love of the rest of the disciples then. Peter confirmed that he loves the Lord. Afterwards Jesus gave him his responsibilities.
The responsibilities are huge and it requires the right motive: love. Without love, the dedication to do ministry would not last. Jesus wanted Peter to have a lasting motive for following Him that is love for him.
Love assumes various qualities necessary to do the ministry – patience, kindness, unselfishness; faith, hope, and endurance (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
APPLICATION When reinstating a person to a responsibility, relationship, and privileges; it is necessary that we check the person’s motive. Aside from repentance, transformation, and humility; we would like to make sure that that person’s intention carries certain qualities necessary to give the person another chance. The best motive for giving another chance is that of love.
2. Jesus reinstated Peter for ministry by checking on his commitment. (John 21:18-19)
Jesus described the future that awaits Peter. Jesus contrasted the freedom and alertness of youth with the helplessness of old age. He said this describe the kind of death that Peter would face. He would be forced to carry the cross over his shoulders and behind his neck.
His arms and hands would be stretched out and tied to the cross beam. It was reported that Peter died by being crucified upside down. However, his death would glorify God. Jesus would like to know whether his commitment would be willing to embrace this kind of sacrifices.
Obviously, Peter responded positively. Afterwards Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me.”
APPLICATION Similarly, when a person is given another chance to a relationship, responsibility, or privileges; we need to check on his commitment of sacrifice. When we failed in a relationship, responsibility, or privileges; many have changed. We lost the trust, respect, and opportunities.
It would take a while to regain those and we need to prove our worthiness again by our commitment to sacrifice and persevere. We need to work hard and persevere to regain the trust of the people we have betrayed.
3. Jesus reinstated Peter for ministry by checking on his priority. (John 21:20-23)