Our world loves a good biography. Tales of triumph and ordinary people overcoming extraordinary obstacles are perennially popular. Even better than a good biography is a good testimony. In a good testimony, God is the hero. In a biography, we tend to downplay the failures of the person who is the focus. In a testimony, we can be honest about the failures of the person since God is the focus.
One of the most beloved testimonies in all of Scripture is that of Peter. He is the impetuous lead disciple who has the spiritual gift of always getting it right…the second or seventh time. We can all relate to Peter as we’ve all blown it and seen the Lord be kind to us as well.
Following Peter’s three denials of Jesus, there is an awkward conversation that they have face-to-face over breakfast. John reports that after Jesus rose from death, He walked roughly 80 miles to sit with Peter and it was an awkward moment as they waited for Jesus to bring up the obvious – what will happen to our leader, Peter, who failed miserably, publicly, and repeatedly?
Here is the report of their conversation:
John 21:15-17: “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ He said to him a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’
This had to be painful for Peter. Three times he denied Jesus, so three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. In this, we learn that, for Jesus, it’s always all about love and the relationship. For Jesus, love is what we do to care for the people He cares for. Loving Jesus is done by caring for others which is the essence of ministry. Who has fed you the Word of God? Who are you helping grow healthy in the Word of God?
THANK YOU! As a Bible teacher, I want to thank you for giving me the honor of doing what I love to do, feeding Jesus’ sheep the nourishment of God’s Word!