Summary: In this text we see several challenges made to Peter, however, I want you to notice the specific “challenges” that Jesus made. I. Jesus tested Peter (1-14) II. Jesus examined Peter (15-19) III. Jesus challenged Peter (20-25)
God wants us to be restored
John 21:1-25 (read-15-19)
God understands each of us as individuals. He is quite aware of our mindsets and moodswings. He knows what we are going through and he is ready to help us in times of trouble. Especially when we start drifting or backsliding away from God.
Such was the case with Peter; he had denied Christ three times before He had died. Jesus knew Peter’s condition and chose this time to restore him. So Jesus came to Peter for the purpose of restoring him back to the family of God. Peter desired to be back at home in his heart with Jesus. He wanted to feel that relationship healed and God’s love flowing again. I’m sure Peter was saying in his heart “there’s no place like home with Jesus.”
How can we forget some of the final lines in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy keeps saying, "There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home." Most of us feel the same way. Man has always felt a fondness for that dwelling called home.
Adam and Eve were grieved when they were cast out of the garden of Eden--their home. Noah and his family listened as the waters covered their homeland. Moses left his homeland to follow the will of God for his life. Jesus found that a prophet was not without honor, except at home. The prodigal son knew that even as a servant, home was better than the pigpen.
We rejoice today as we round the corner to "our home." Whether we live in a small or big building, we are glad to get home.
As temporary as the structures on earth are, our home in heaven will be permanent. God challenges us to live daily in preparation for that great eternal home that He is preparing for His children. It will be untouched by the elements of nature, unscarred by strife, pure, clean, and holy, and yes--IT WILL LAST FOR ETERNITY!
It was time for Peter to make a choice between following Christ and the world which he had known. In this text we see several challenges made to Peter; however, I want you to notice the specific “challenges” that Jesus made.
I. Jesus tested Peter (1-14)
A. He tested Peter to recognize his voice.
Although He had not revealed Himself to the seven on the boat, He waited to see if they would hear and obey.
B. He tested them to recognize His power.
Though they had caught nothing all night long, He told them to cast the net on the other side of the boat. No doubt they were tired but they obeyed and caught a boat load. John instantly said in verse seven, “It is the Lord!)
C. He tested them to recognize His person.
This was the third time He had appeared unto them. Peter’s action tells us that he could not wait to get to Jesus, so he dove into the water and swam to shore. His impatience shows us his need for Christ.
II. Jesus examined Peter (15-19)
A. He examined Peter’s love
Jesus wanted him to deal with his relationship with God. In this verses Jesus used for love is different from Peter. Jesus wanted to know if Peter had agape love, but he only had philo love, which is simply affection.
B. He examined Peter’s devotion
Jesus told him to “Feed my lambs,” which dealt with Peter’s feeding and leading the flock of God. God wanted him to realize that He was raising him up as a leading in His stead, and would he love God enough to serve Him.
C. He examined Peter’s obedience
He revealed what kind of death Peter would meet. In verse 18-19, Jesus revealed that one day when Peter had grown old he would be lead to a place where he did not want to go. Then He called out to Peter to make a decision when He said, “Follow Me!”
III. Jesus challenged Peter (20-25)
A. He challenged him to deal with his commitment
1. To deal His commitment to God. This commitment is one unto God where that person realizes that he belongs to God. And everything that he does he does unto for the will and glory of God.
2. To deal with his personal commitment. Peter had to deal with following Christ regardless of death, family, job, ambitions, dreams, plans, health, etc. Jesus said, “Follow Me!”
B. He challenged him to deal with his personal calling.
Like Paul taught in Romans about being a living sacrifice who lives to prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. And what you go through for Christ cannot be measured or compared to someone else.
Jesus had tested Peter to remember who was Lord. He also examined his heart and helped him realize his spiritual condition. Then He helped Peter to make a commitment to serve the Lord and even die if that is what it takes. This was how God restore Peter in the service.