Summary: A sermon for graduates, but applicable to all believers!
Date Written: May 22, 2008
Date Preached: May 18, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Graduation Day
Sermon Title: Graduation Day – A Time to Move Forward!
Sermon Text: John 21:15-19
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
When we first meet Peter we find him by the sea and we see that he is a fisherman. Jesus comes by and calls Peter to follow Him. Peter leaves his business, his livelihood, and his family to follow Jesus.
A little later we find out that Peter thought he knew what he was doing when he dropped everything to follow Jesus, he thought he had things all figured out!
This is because Peter and the disciples believed Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah, and that meant Jesus was going to overthrown the Romans and set up a new kingdom. Peter wanted to be a part of what he thought Jesus was going to do!
However, Peter found out very soon what Jesus was doing, and Jesus was not heading down the road that Peter had expected! What Peter had expected was NOT coming to pass and we find Peter and the other disciples had to make a choice! Follow Jesus or turn back!
During his time as a disciple of Jesus we find Peter sticking his foot into his mouth and finding himself in trouble a lot because he believed he could do things on his own, and he did not submit to Christ!
But here in our passage this morning we find that even though Peter failed Jesus over and over again, he is restored by Jesus and ultimately goes on to become one of the great early church leaders!
In chapter 21 of the book of John we find Peter graduating from being a disciple with his own desires and goals to a full-fledged apostle dedicated to the spread of the Gospel of Christ!
We find that Peter was ready now to move out from underneath the safe umbrella of serving with Jesus… and he became a servant who was willing to serve Christ even after Jesus resurrected to heaven.
Peter graduated and became what Christ had always intended him to be!
Today graduates, you stand at a crossroads in your life. Ever since you have been born, Christ has been calling you to come to Him. Some of you have come, and some of you have sat on the sideline, and some of you have rejected Him.
Many of you have your own expectations in life, and you have your own preconceptions of what you are supposed to be doing in life! You may have even started High School or College with all your own dreams and desires and thoughts about what you would accomplish.
But you soon found out that doing things YOUR way and seeking only after what you desires was not going to work. That is because the teachers had their own lesson plans and there was structured work scenarios that you had to adhere to… and when you tried to do it your way… instead of theirs you failed!
But here you stand today and even though you may have failed on occasion, you have been ‘restored’ [so to speak] and you are ‘graduating’ to the next level of your life.
You are leaving the safe haven of High School or college to move out into the world! And like Peter after Christ restored him, you are going out into the world with the teachings and instructions of you have been given, but you will be separated from those who have mentored you and taught you!