Summary: Jesus makes successes out of failures.


John 21:15-19

S: Resurrection Sunday

Th: Grace


?: How?

KW: Stages

TS: We will find in our study of Peter three stages that we go through for Jesus to make us a success.

The _____ stage we go through for Jesus to make us a success is the…stage.




RMBC 4/23/00 AM


1. Have you ever needed a second chance?

ILL Notebook: Second Chance (coach)

A college football coach was faced with the possibility that his star player might be declared ineligible for academic reasons. So he pleaded with the chemistry professor not to flunk the athlete. “Tell you what, coach,” said the professor. “I’ll ask him a question in your presence. If he gets it right, I’ll pass him.” The athlete was called in and the professor queried, “What’s H2O?” “Water,” replied the player. Frantically the coach cried out: “Give him another chance! Please give him another chance!”

Well, I think we can all think of times when we needed a second chance.

And we were so grateful to receive it.

I am sure if you are like me, you hate to fail.

You hate not getting it right.

2. Sometimes, it is hard to know what to do with failure.

ILL Failure, Spiritual 7/97.23

When a vice-president of IBM came up with an idea to set up a separate division, he was given permission by the CEO, Thomas Watson. When he put the plan in motion, he promptly lost ten million dollars. He came in and told Mr. Watson that he was resigning, and when Watson asked why, the vice-president said, “Because this thing was such a miserable failure.” Watson responded, “You’re not resigning after I just spent ten million dollars on your education.”

Well, that is an attitude that we all appreciate.

And it is the reaction that we often long for.

We are glad for a new opportunity to get it right.


1. Today, we celebrate the cornerstone belief of Christian-ity—the Resurrection.

There is nothing more essential to our belief structure than the resurrection.

And while our time together is not centering on this belief, we need to recognize that we just had several people testify to it.

They have been buried with Christ and raised up to new life, just as He was.


2. Our study centers on a conversation Jesus has with Peter after He has risen from the dead.

You know, Jesus’ death looked like a failure.

Peter, and the rest of the disciples, were expecting something different.

They were expecting an overthrow of Rome and a new kind of kingdom.

They were going to be with Jesus all the way, and be His mighty men.

But…the movement failed.

He did not conquer Rome.

For Jesus was executed.

And when Jesus needed them the most, the disciples scattered.

They failed miserably.

But what we learn out of this is that…


He can take our most miserable failure and make something great out of it.


4. We will find in our study of Peter three stages that we go through for Jesus to make us a success.


I. The first stage we go through for Jesus to make us a success is the FUTILITY stage (John 13:36-38; 18:17, 25-27).

1. We often have a self-confidence that is not well-founded.

In a conversation that occurs before Judas’ betrayal, we find this:

Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!”

Simply, Peter overestimates his own ability.

He is arrogant.

He has a certain belief in his own strength.

So much so, even if the rest of the disciples were to fall away, he would not.

He would surpass them all.

He was going to stay with Jesus no matter what.

And then…the betrayal comes.

Judas kisses Jesus and the soldiers move in.

Peter found himself surrounded by the Lord’s enemies.

All of sudden, it became real hard for him to stand by his earlier boast.

And you know what they all did…they ran.

They proved…

2. The thing we do not want to do is the very thing that we do.

And the man who said that he would not fall away, did follow Jesus…from a distance.

Now listen what happens to him…

“You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”

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Michael Bolin

commented on Apr 7, 2009

i enjoy your illustrations and your insight. i have been drawing from your "living the difference" series and i appreciate your willingness to share. may the Spirit continue to guide you, michael

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