Read John 21
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Scripture- John 21:19b-22- Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.” Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved- the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”
Observations- This last scene in John's gospel records an encounter between the resurrected Lord with Peter, the one who had denied he even knew who Jesus was a few days earlier. Peter was struggling given his numerous denials. What did this mean about his leadership in the Jesus movement? Should he just go back and fish? The resurrected Lord didn't hesitate to give Peter his job back. Jesus told Peter to "take care of my sheep," and even told him about his own death one day. As is often times the case for us as well, Peter attempted to deflect the focus of the Savior away from him and onto someone else:
"OK, fine, but what about him?" Jesus didn't fall for it; instead He kept the focus on Peter and said, "As for you, follow me.”
Application- It's always a temptation for you and I to try to deflect attention away from ourselves when it comes to discipleship. We want to focus on what others are doing (or aren't doing!), but our call is to have a living relationship with Christ where we encounter His unique call to follow Him. It's not about what anyone else! Peter disappointed His Lord, but Jesus received him back and told him there was still a place of servant leadership for him. If Peter denying he even knew Jesus at the most crucial moment in Christ's life didn't disqualify him from being a friend of Jesus, why do we think our past behavior will
disqualify us (or that someone else's past behavior disqualifies them) from serving in Jesus' Church in 2019? Jesus restored Peter, not merely to a back row seat, so we need to appreciate that the Lord offers us restoration and new life, too. The good news is that God is not finished with us yet!
Prayer- Dear God, I have cried out for You to take away my human failings and frailties. Even when I have badly messed up, You have never given up on me, and I am grateful for Your grace in the midst of truth. Thank You, Jesus, for modeling restoration in relationship with Peter, who failed You so badly. You restored him to a place of joyful service. Thank You for not giving up on me. Help us follow You well. Amen.
"In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." (1 Peter 5:10),
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