2017-04-18 - Breakfast with Peter
Originally Published 1996-04-11
The day after the first Easter of CF Devotionals
John 21:15-17 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus
said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than any of
these?" He said to Him, " Yes Lord; You know that I love You." He said to
him, "Tend my sheep." 16 He said unto him a second time, "Simon,
son of John, do you love Me more than any of these?" He said to Him, " Yes
Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd my sheep." 17 He
said unto 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 all things; You know that I love You." Jesus
said to him, "Tend my sheep." (NASB)
This seemed a timely passage since it is just after Resurrection Day. And
how I know I, and many of my friends, identify with Peter -- one minute
declaring the great profession of faith at Caesarea and the next blowing
it so big that Jesus must send me a rebuke.
Jesus restores Peter personally here as He asks Peter three times,
"Do you love Me?" This offsets Peters denials.
Mary was instructed, "Go tell Peter and the other
disciples." …. Be sure Peter gets the message
Mary …. He is still
My brother …. The love that is demonstrated in these two points, via Mary
and personally -- where the Lord restores Peter after he swore with a
curse that he did not know Jesus -- blows me away. Can I show that kind
of love and forgiveness?
The world 'love' used by Jesus in the first two verses is 'agape'. This is
the unconditional love that God has for each of us. The love that compelled
Him to go to the cross to restore the path to God, expecting nothing in return.
This is no longer the bragging Peter, but the broken Peter, who response
with the word 'phileo'. "I love you like a brother, not perfectly." is what
Peter is saying. No boasting, recognizing his human fragility and ability
to do as Paul says, "that which I do not want to
do …". Knowing that we are just clay vessels, and totally dependent
on Christ for everything, is so important. And yet, we try to take care of
This crushed and broken Peter, gently restored to fellowship by Jesus, is
now far more useful to the Master. Jesus meets Peter at his level the third
time with 'phileo'. Peter responds in grief that he is unable to measure
up to the 'agape' standard. Jesus says, "It is enough
for now Peter. Tend my sheep."
Peter goes on to lead the church in Rome. Peter has been prepared for the
great task. After Nero blames the Christians for the massive fire in Rome
that he himself ordered set as a prelude to his urban renewal plan, the
Christians are rounded up ruthlessly. In the end, Peter watched his beloved
wife be executed by a spearman. Just before Peter was to be nailed to a cross,
Nero asked Peter if he had any last requests. Nero must have been hoping
to show the people there that he had crushed Peter's spirit. Peter is said
to have responded that he is not worthy to be crucified as was His Lord.
He instead asks to be crucified upside down. This is no simple act of obedience;
it surely compounded his suffering. But it must also have made a staggering
impression on the people at the Coliseum who had come to see this man go
down to defeat. Instead, he won. He left a lasting impression on each, that
Jesus meant that much to him. And, as he passed from this life, he walked
into the arms of his waiting Lord.
Lord Jesus - Keep us mindful of our complete dependence
on Your provision. Help us to stay mindful of our ability to so easily sin.
And when we do, help us to know that You already knew it was going to happen.
You love us, even knowing our flaws, and are always ready to restore us to
fellowship. Thank You for that wonderful grace and mercy. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.
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