Summary: We all made promises to God. I will do this or that. We have boasted and bragged and let the Lord down. Jesus is forgiving to our failings and restores us to the work of the church.
WHEN GOD RESTORES THE BROKEN HEART
The highly watched television show “Lost” is presented in the same manner as the character Peter in the Gospel of John. The show “Lost” portrays a story surrounding the events of the island that the people are lost on. As the show unfolds, there are flashbacks to the character’s life before the airplane crash. These flash backs provide insight into the reasons why the character on the island is reacting to the events at the present time. These flashbacks inform the viewer of the character’s complex background. Throughout the show, one complete story unfolds. This story meshes together the present narrative with the background information.
John portrays Peter through the same light. John tells the story about Jesus restoring Peter to his commission of working in the church of God. But this story could not be understood unless one flashes back to the historical events that lead to this interaction.
Jesus appears to the disciple while they were fishing. Jesus lovely prepares breakfast for the disciple. After the breakfast was completed Jesus offers Peter a time of restoration. It is amazing detail of breakfast. Breakfast is typically taken at the beginning of the day. Peter through this process is a renewed man. Peter gets a fresh start to his service to Christ. Jesus asks Peter a simple question of where his loyalty lies. Jesus asks, “Do you love me more than these.”
As soon as Jesus asks this to Peter his mind must have flashed back to the first time calling by the Lord. John 1:42 “He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter). Peter had just finished fishing all night. Jesus first appeared to him when he was a fisherman. When Jesus fist met Peter he called him Simon son of John. This might have caught his attention. Everyone knows what is in a name. Everyone knows the feeling of being called by their full name by a parent who is upset. Simon son of John must have rung in his mind. Jesus is starting over again. He goes back to the beginning of his call to follow Christ. Literally, Jesus is saying, “Let’s try this one more time.”
This one couple I know started again. This couple dated all through graduate school. Just before they graduated as a doctor and a lawyer, the couple broke up. A few months passed and each of them moved to different locations. The relationship seemed to be over. But one day a call was placed to see each other again. During that time they realized the mistake. In a matter of weeks the couple eloped and was married to the shock of the family. They were miserable away from each other. They got back together and are happily married to this day.
Jesus and Peter were better off together than apart. Peter declares that he truly loved Christ and wants to be involved in the mission of God. So Jesus recalls him into the ministry. He tells him to feed his sleep. Peter is to work with the people of God. Peter is going to develop into a great leader in the future.
But another flashback jumps into Peter’s head. He remembers the time he was promising to never leave Christ. John 13:36-38 “Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered, "Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you shall follow later." Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a cock shall not crow, until you deny Me three times.” Peter was full of pride and confidence. Peter was making promises that he could never keep. This was the nature of Peter. He was the one to jump first, he was the one to speak up first, and he was the one to promise the most.
Jesus once again asks him the same question. Do you love me? Peter wanting to please his master answers yes. What was Peter thinking? Did Jesus not hear me the first time? Peter truly loved the Lord. He was willing to follow him from the beginning of his ministry. He ran to Jesus when he saw him from the shore. If there was one person who desired relationship with Christ, it was Peter. Jesus once again tells Peter to feed his sleep. Jesus is commissioning Peter again for the work of the ministry. The church is going to need his leadership and talents to have success. He tells Peter he is going to have a leadership role in the future kingdom of God. He must be about feeding and tending to the sheep of God. After Peter affirmed his loyalty to Jesus, Jesus asks another question.