Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Peter is going through a time of regret around the fire of denial. Jesus is taking the initiative to restore Peter around a fire of fellowship.


John 21:15-25

“The Fallen Leader Restored”

Do you sometimes live your life with a sense of regret?

I do.

In fact I am shocking at it and I need to keep challenging myself to stop.

Because you can keep on looking back and find yourself somewhat trapped by the past.

And we don’t want to be trapped by the past.

In fact Jesus doesn’t want us to be trapped by the past.

Jesus has come to enable us to move forward.

As we look at our last message in our series on John that truth clearly comes out.

Let’s read John 21:15-25

So how did we get to this point?

It all started because there was the denial of Peter.

It started with a great sense of conviction that it would never happen.

Let me read Matthew 26:31-35

31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.

32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

He is so sure.

He is so wrong.

Asked by a servant girl … he denies it.

Asked by another person … he denies it.

Asked by a third person … he calls down curses upon himself and denies it.

61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:61-62)

That is Peter.

He was often taking some hasty action that he … regretted later. Like stepping out of the boat and ending up in the water.

He was always saying things he wished he had not. Like telling Jesus he can’t go the cross and then finding Jesus say to him, “Get behind me Satan!”.

But the denial of the Lord ... must have weighed heavy on his heart.

I wonder how many times he played that moment over and over in His head?

You do that, don’t you, when something happens that you regret.

Especially when that regret is related to the way that you live your Christian life.

How many times, even in the past week, have you done something that you feel a sense of regret because you want to act differently before the Lord.

Maybe it was words you used … or didn’t use.

Maybe it was a witnessing opportunity … that evaporated because you didn’t take it.

A behaviour pattern.

A reoccurring sin.

A constant disappointing action.

An accusation against God.

A sense of doubt.

You see that is the reality of the Christian life isn’t it.

It isn’t always jumping around with our hands in the air.

We aren’t always on our knees in powerful communion with Jesus.

We live in a sin-stained, broken, draining world.

We have responsibilities and commitments and bills … bills and debt … debt and worry.

And isn’t there times when we know we need to be standing up for Jesus but really there is life.

And we say …

well we don’t say it but we act it …

Jesus just leave me alone for a moment.

I don’t want to be close. I just need to not be identified as your disciple for a moment.

It probably doesn’t sound like a good idea to say that stuff out loud.

But isn’t that the reality sometimes?

Haven’t you been there are some point.

Pretty much every disciples gets there.

That sense of … denial

I don’t want to be close. I just need to not be identified as your disciple for a moment.

That is denial.

For a moment I don’t want to be your disciple.

It isn’t the end of your faith.

It isn’t that you are chucking it all in.

It is a moment in time.

And it will be a moment that has regrets.

Now you are in Peter’s shoes.

What does Jesus do with Peter.

Well that is how we end up on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias – which is the Roman name for the Sea of Galilee.

We saw last week that seven disciples are out fishing … but catch nothing all night.

Jesus comes at dawn on the shore and says … put the net on the other side.

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