Summary: FCF: If we love Jesus – are teachable and available to him – then he can use us. Text Outline: 1. Be Teachable [John 21: 1 – 6] 2. Be Available [John 21: 7 – 14] 3. Be Restored and Used [John 21: 15 – 19]
Simple, But Not Easy
Text: John 21: 1 – 19
MP (Text): Because Peter loved Jesus, Jesus was willing to forgive and restore Peter to the where Peter would be able to lead the rest of his life in a Christ-like manner.
FCF: If we love Jesus – are teachable and available to him – then he can use us.
1. Be Teachable [John 21: 1 – 6]
2. Be Available [John 21: 7 – 14]
3. Be Restored and Used [John 21: 15 – 19]
a. Simplicity & Easy
i. My first boss hated fishing. He thought it was incredible simple and therefore too easy…
ii. Simplicity vs. Complexity is a different issue from Easy vs. Hard
iii. Simple things are harder because technique is more important
b. In this text
i. Peter is the simple guy – but he had been through a hard time
ii. Jesus restored him to simple faith and gave him the strength to do hard things
c. How do we do this Christian life thing anyway?
2. Be Teachable
a. So quick to peg Peter as being impetuous that we skip over how teachable he was
i. Here & Luke 5 (Same basic story – Peter does what Jesus says)
ii. Acts 10 (Cornelius Vision)
iii. 2 Peter 1:3 He has already given us everything we need
b. People think I’m smart – I’m not. I’m teachable
c. Origin of the word ‘idiot’ (like idiosyncratic)
3. Be Available
a. Jesus didn’t need the fish – he simply gave Peter the opportunity to be involved
b. Church here is a privilege – the privilege to be involved
c. Agnes Bojxihu –a simple Albanian nun whose ministry was nothing more than being available to change the bedpans of the untouchables who sick and dying in the slums, but undoubtedly one of the most influential Christians of the 20th Century. See the newsletter for details. [No, don’t say its Mother Teresa!]
4. Be loved
My first boss hated fishing – he thought it was simple and too easy. Well, I’ve been to Men & Boy’s Go Fishing, and I have seen that the best fishermen among us where those who kept it from getting too complex – but I know better than to think it easy. I guess more accurately, good fishing is as simple as putting bait in front of a fish, but catching is far from easy. Indeed, it is the simple things in life – the things where we already know what we need to do – it is those things in life that require the highest attention to technique. In theory they are simple, but in practice they can be hard indeed.
In our text this morning, Peter would be Exhibit A in things that are simple but not easy. Oh just a few weeks back he thought it would be easy to do something as simple as stay true to the Lord he loved. He boasted that he would stay true even if everybody else would fall away. And Jesus loved him for it, but he did a miracle – saying that even before the cock crowed, Peter would deny him three times. The miracle wasn’t so much knowing that Peter would deny him as that he could keep a rooster from crowing long enough for anyone to get out three sentences. But seriously, Peter was right – staying true to the Lord is simple, but he was wrong in thinking it was easy. But thankfully, our Lord knows how hard it is for us to keep the simple things simple, and he will restore us into his service if we are open and available to him.
This morning, I want to examine what is a well-known story – the epilogue to the Resurrection – the story in which Peter is forgiven and restored to Jesus. And, as we examine it, I want us to keep in mind that the Christian life is simple, if not easy. It is simply being teachable and available and loving. It is not a faith that requires a scholar’s mind or a scientist’s analysis. As Peter would later go on to tell us, we already have all the things we need for life and godliness – there is no additional knowledge that is keeping us from knowing him.
It is just the simple technique of living lives of love, but it is not easy. What I want to examine this morning is how we can live that out, and from this account I want to pull out three observations – that if we would simply follow our savior, we must be teachable, available, and ready to love. I’m going to locate those principles in three parts of this text – In verses 1 – 6, I want us to see that we must simply be teachable if we would serve. In verses 7 – 14, I hope to show that we must be available. And, in verses 15 – 19, we will see that the simplest point of all is this – that we must do everything in love.