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).