Sermons

Summary: THIS IS THE LAST IN A SERIES OF MESSAGES FOLLOWING JESUS JOURNEY TO THE CROSS. IT EXAMINES PETER'S REINSTATEMENT, AND FORCES US TO LOOK AT DIFFERENT WAYS WE HAVE DENIED THE LORD

FEED MY SHEEP

JOHN 21:15-25

APRIL 28, 2019

LOUISA FLETCHER WROTE:

I WISH THAT THERE WERE SOME WONDERFUL PLACE

CALLED THE LAND OF BEGINNING AGAIN.

WHERE ALL OUR MISTAKES AND ALL OUR HEARTACHES

AND ALL OUR POOR SELFISH GRIEF

COULD BE DROPPED LIKE A SHABBY OLD COAT AT THE DOOR

AND NEVER PUT ON AGAIN

FOR WHAT HAD BEEN HARDEST WE’D KNOW HAD BEEN BEST

AND WHAT HAD SEEMED LOST WOULD BE GAIN

FOR THERE ISN’T A STING THAT WOULD NOT TAKE A WING

WHEN WE’VE FACED IT AND LAUGHED IT AWAY

AND I THINK THAT THE LAUGHTER IS MOST WHAT WE’RE AFTER

IN THE LAND OF BEGINNING AGAIN.

WE ARE GOING TO CONCLUDE OUR SERIES ON JOURNEYING TO THE CROSS BY LOOKING AT AN INCIDENT THAT HAPPENED A LITTLE WHILE AFTER THE RESURRECTION BUT HAD IT’S ROOTS IN THE ARREST AND TRIAL OF CHRIST.

I’M SURE THAT IF I WERE TO ASK YOU IF YOU HAD IT ALL OVER TO DO AGAIN, IF I COULD GIVE YOU A SECOND CHANCE, WOULD THERE BE THINGS IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY. SOME OF YOU ARE SHAKING YOUR HEADS YES.

WHAT YOU MAY WANT TO DO COULD BE VERY MINOR, LIKE WHEN A NOTE WAS PASSED TO A PASTOR BY AN USHER CONTAINING A PRAYER REQUEST. IT READ, “BILL JONES, HAVING GONE TO SEA, HIS WIFE DESIRES THE PRAYERS OF THE CONGREGATION FOR HIS SAFETY.

THE PASTOR FAILED TO OBSERVE THE PUNCTUATION AND READ THE NOTE AS FOLLOWS: BILL JONES, HAVING GONE TO SEE HIS WIFE, DESIRES THE PRAYERS OF THE CONGREGATION FOR HIS SAFETY.”

IT COULD BE SOMETHING MAJOR, LIKE MENDING A RELATIONSHIP BEFORE DEATH TOOK ONE FROM THE RELATIONSHIP.

THIS POSITION OF WISHING FOR A SECOND CHANCE IS WHERE PETER FOUND HIMSELF. NO DOUBT HE WAS OVERJOYED AT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS, BUT HOW COULD HE EVER TAKE PART IN MINISTRY AGAIN. ESPECIALLY AFTER DENYING THAT HE KNEW JESUS ON THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS.

WHY IS A SECOND CHANCE IMPORTANT? WE MAY SAY “IF I HAD TO DO IT OVER AGAIN I WOULD HAVE DONE THIS!” IT MEANS THAT YOU REGRET NOT SEEING THIS BETTER WAY IN TIME, AND POSSIBLY THERE IS GREAT GUILT INVOLVED IN THE DECISION YOU DID MAKE.

PETER WAS LOOKING FOR FREEDOM FROM THE GUILT HE FELT FOR DENYING JESUS ON THE NIGHT OF HIS ARREST. PETER WOULD NOT FIND THAT FREEDOM THOUGH UNTIL HE CONFESSED HIS SIN BEFORE CHRIST.

PSALM 32:3-5:

WHEN I KEPT SILENT, MY BONES WASTED AWAY THROUGH MY GROANING ALL DAY LONG. 4 FOR DAY AND NIGHT YOUR HAND WAS HEAVY ON ME; MY STRENGTH WAS SAPPED AS IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER. 5 THEN I ACKNOWLEDGED MY SIN TO YOU AND DID NOT COVER UP MY INIQUITY. I SAID, “I WILL CONFESS MY TRANSGRESSIONS TO THE LORD.” AND YOU FORGAVE THE GUILT OF MY SIN.

THERE CAN BE NO FORGIVENESS OF SIN WITHOUT CONFESSION. HOW TERRIBLE THESE DAYS MUST HAVE BEEN FOR PETER. PETER KNEW JESUS WAS ALIVE, BUT WHAT WOULD JESUS HAVE TO DO WITH HIM NOW? HE WOULD GO BACK TO HIS FORMER LIFE OF FISHING.

SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO OUR BEGINNING ROOTS TO FIND THE FORGIVENESS OF CHRIST, AND TO FIND VALUE IN OUR LIVES.

VV. 1-3 OF OUR PASSAGE TELLS US THAT PETER HAD GONE BACK TO HIS FORMER PROFESSION, THAT OF FISHING. ON THIS PARTICULAR DAY PETER HAD TAKEN SIX OTHERS WITH HIM, BUT THEY HAD NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL ALL NIGHT.

THIS NEXT PART OF THE PASSAGE RAISES SEVERAL QUESTIONS FOR ME. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE DISCIPLES ON THE BOAT CANNOT RECOGNIZE JESUS AND THIS IS ON PURPOSE. JESUS THEN TELLS THEM TO THROW THEIR NETS OFF THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BOAT. THE RIGHT SIDE WAS THE SHALLOW SIDE OF THE BOAT. THERE SHOULD BE NO FISH THERE.

WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO CATCH FISH ANYWAY? THE LESSON OF THE PASSAGE IS GOING TO BE TAUGHT ON THE BEACH, NOT ON THE BOAT. WHAT WOULD THEY DO WITH WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE 153 FISH.

I BELIEVE JESUS WAS USING THIS TIME OF FISHING TO ESTABLISH THE CONTEXT OF HIS CONVERSATION WITH PETER. HE WAS TAKING THEM BACK TO THE FIRST MIRACLE HE PERFORMED IN CALLING THEM.

LUKE 5:4-6:

WHEN HE HAD FINISHED SPEAKING, HE SAID TO SIMON, “PUT OUT INTO DEEP WATER, AND LET DOWN THE NETS FOR A CATCH.” 5 SIMON ANSWERED, “MASTER, WE’VE WORKED HARD ALL NIGHT AND HAVEN’T CAUGHT ANYTHING. BUT BECAUSE YOU SAY SO, I WILL LET DOWN THE NETS.” 6 WHEN THEY HAD DONE SO, THEY CAUGHT SUCH A LARGE NUMBER OF FISH THAT THEIR NETS BEGAN TO BREAK.

PERHAPS IT WAS PETER’S RESPONSE THAT JESUS WANTED PETER TO REMEMBER.

LUKE 5:8: WHEN SIMON PETER SAW THIS, HE FELL AT JESUS’ KNEES AND SAID, “GO AWAY FROM ME, LORD; I AM A SINFUL MAN!

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