Summary: Jesus desires our love above all else. Can we leave the past behind and reaffirm our love to Christ?
I was reading in the book, “Streams in the Desert” which stated that one of life’s greatest paradoxes is knowing that the only person who is truly at rest is the one who had achieved it by working through the struggles of conflict, mistakes and regret.
The book went on to note that: “The person who may appear to be blessed, having been untouched by sorrow, is typically not one who is strong and at peace. his qualities have never been tested, and he does not know how he would handle even a mild setback.”
I think it would be safe to say that after having breakfast with Jesus, Peter is finally at rest. He had his share of working through conflict, mistakes and regret.
Peter took many risks and dared to boldly proclaim allegiance to Jesus. He tried to walk on water. He claimed quite emphatically that he would even die for Christ and aggressively stated he would do all he could to keep the crucifixion of Jesus from taking place. In the garden of Gethsemane, He drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus who was the servant of the high Priest.
Peter was aggressive, loyal, and acted out without thinking. Sadly, when the test came and it when it really mattered, Peter runs off into the dark of night and then later denies Jesus three times. The rooster crowed and peter is overwhelmed with failure, regret and sorrow.
I think just about every one of us can say “I’ve been there!” Maybe we can even say “I know how Peter feels.” We have regrets, we’ve done things we shouldn’t, we’ve pulled away from our relationship with Christ and maybe even denied him…whether by our lifestyle, our conscious choice, or by letting our relationship with him go cold.
I believe Jesus is asking us the same question he did of Peter. Jesus asked, in verse 15, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Jesus has a wonderful way of restoring us when we fail Him! He does not humiliate us. He does not criticize us. He does not remind us of our past and rub our noses in it.
Rather, Jesus lovingly takes us aside and simply asks us to reaffirm our love for Him. Peter miserably failed his Lord and must have wondered if he was even worthy of being considered one of Jesus’ disciple ever again.
It can be quite painful when we become aware of those times we have failed our Lord in many ways. Perhaps we have not been faithful. Perhaps we disobeyed His word to us. Maybe we blew our testimony and witness by the way we responded to adversity and persecution.
Our good news for today is to come alongside Jesus and reaffirm our love for him. He will not criticize us for our past. He will not scold and berate us for our mistakes. He will ask us to examine our love for Him. He will ask us to reaffirm our love.
Jesus is not asking for resolutions, recommitments, or our promises to try harder. Jesus asks for our love. If we truly love Him, our service for Him will be at the level and of the quality that He desires and is looking for.
God will never give up on us because He wants to have a loving, personal and intimate relationship with you built on love! Even if we’ve made poor choices in the past that have left us with regret, remorse and gilt, we can still choose how we will live right now. We make a choice to all the past to remain forgiven and behind us so that we can journey forward renewed and reaffirmed.
The Song “SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL” by Bill and Gloria Gaither sings of this great love: “Something beautiful, something good; all my confusion He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful of my life.”
What a beautiful discourse we have here between Jesus and Peter. Jesus, who has conquered death and has been resurrected from the dead, is seeking to “resurrect” his relationship with Peter and to release him from all that deadened that relationship.
That is why I’ll close with Romans 8:35-39, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”