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The God of Another Chance:: 2


After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. (John 21:15-17, NLT)

Following breakfast on the beach, Jesus pulled Peter aside for a private conversation. During that exchange, Jesus asked Peter three direct questions. “Peter, do you love me more than these?”

…These boats and nets?
…These other disciples?
…More than these disciples love me?

Peter is understandably troubled that the Lord asked him the same basic question three times. I’m sure that the three questions would have pricked Peter’s conscience because that’s how many times he had denied Christ. All he could muster was, “Lord, you know…”

After Peter got the point, Jesus gave Peter a quick glance into his future. “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. 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.” So the rumor spread among the community of believersg that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21:18-22, NLT)

In so many words Jesus told Peter two important things. First, Jesus is basically challenging Peter by saying, “Follow me…this time follow through.” Second, “Follow me, as though you’re the only one.” These are important things that Peter needed to hear and they’re not bad things for us to remember when we come to the realization that we need to begin again. Tomorrow I’ll finish this series with three take-aways that will guide us when we need another chance.

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