Resurrecting Hope: Do You Love Me? Week, 3.
We can only imagine how Peter must have felt as the final days of Jesus’ life unfolded. Peter, devastated that his Master had been crucified, disappointed that Judas had turned his back, and heartbroken that Rome had seemingly won.
John 18:15-17, 25-27TM Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the Chief Priest, and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Peter had to stay outside. Then the other disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in. 17 The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “No, I’m not.” 25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was back at the fire, still trying to get warm. The others there said to him, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?” He denied it, “Not me.” 26 One of the Chief Priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again, Peter denied it. Just then a rooster crowed.
What was Jesus saying? “Peter, do you love Me?” When the rooster crowed, it was Jesus—“I love you!”
Peter’s saddest days begin this day. The day he denied knowing Jesus, three times. It was a time when Jesus needed him most.
By all probability, Peter’s honest confession—“Yes, I know Jesus,” would have made him a candidate for a Roman crucifixion.
Like Peter, we will be tested—I want to give you 4 points to remember as you face trails.
Point 1, It’s what you do with suffering, or trails that really count.
Here’s a fact, Peter’s denial set Him up for greatness. Peter’s, “No, ‘I don’t know Him” —produced spiritual growth.
1 Peter 4:12-13NLT Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.
Peter’s failure qualified him to understand God’s grace. —It made Peter a candidate to see God’s glory.
Are you making trails and suffering personal?
Again—God reveals His glory to those under fiery trails. Those who suffer will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory…!
1 Peter 5:10NIV And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Here’s a Fact—Trails, persecution, failure, even sin, multiply God’s grace.
Again, 1 Peter 5:10b…after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Please hear this, There is no disappointment, sin, failure, or discouragement that can separate you from the love of God.
The apostle Paul writes in, Romans 8:35, 37KJV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Again, Point 1, It’s what you do with suffering, or trails that really count.
Point 2—Your life is either a conformation, or denial of your connection to Jesus.
As author Brennan Manning once said:
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge— Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. He writes, That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
The question is, “Does my life confirm my connection to Jesus?”
Following Peter’s denial, and Jesus’ ultimate death, the Bible states—that Peter and the others, go back to fishing.
These next verses I want to share, give us one of the first post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to His followers.
John 21:1-4TM After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it: Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the brothers Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.” 3-4 The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him.
Be assured that Jesus was standing there gazing at the ones He died for.
Listen, You might not recognize Jesus’ help, but invite Him anyway. Invite His help. Invite— Him to eat with you, to live, to work with you, even invite Him to play with you. P.H
Just reading these scriptures soothe my soul: John 21:5-9TM Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?” They answered, “No.” 6 He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.” They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in. 7-9 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!” When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea. The other disciples came in by boat for they weren’t far from land, a hundred yards or so, pulling along the net full of fish. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it.
Notice, Jesus already had a fire, bread and fish cooking. (Jesus was anticipating this great gathering of some of His original disciples.
Again, Point 2—Your life is either a conformation, or denial of your connection to Jesus.
I can picture Peter saying, “This is the man I want to follow for the rest of my life!”
When is the last time your nets were breaking? God’s got a miracle with your name on it. P.H
Point 3—Jesus's grace restores our hope.
Why does Peter respond so drastically? So quickly? Here is why I think he wastes no time in leaving the boat: Peter is filled with hope that his relationship with Jesus can be restored.
Some this morning feel that you have made too many mistakes to be forgiven. Some of us have lost hope that God could ever love us.
This morning I invite you to see that the Savior has come to the shoreline of your life, and He’s offering you grace. P.H
2 Peter 1:1-3NKJV Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
Peter is stating, “the grace and peace Jesus offered me after my personal denial is nothing less than amazing.”
The late orator Rev. Charles Spurgeon told of an evening when he was riding home after a hard day’s work. He felt weary and depressed when suddenly as a lightning flash he thought of, 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Spurgeon replied, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst out laughing.
Spurgeon said that it seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and the river said, “Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.” Or a man way up on a mountain saying to himself, “I fear I shall exhaust all the oxygen in the atmosphere.” The earth would reply, “Breathe away, oh man, and fill thy lungs ever; my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.”(Streams In The Desert – Charles Cowman)
As Peter arrives at the shore, there is a fire burning and Jesus is cooking some fish over the coals. You’re aware, Early morning hours are always rather chilly.
I can imagine Jesus’ loving smile as He welcomes Simon Peter who recently denied Him, 3 times.
Again, Point 3—Jesus's grace restores our hope.
My final Point 4—Love for Jesus is proven with a life for Jesus.
John 21:15-19TM After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”“Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.” 17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Again, Jesus states, “If you love Me, feed my sheep.”
Jesus simply ask the same question today as He did then. Do you love Me? If Peter said “yes,” in return, Peter was then obligated to feed others.
Jesus asks us the same question as well. Do you love Me?
Resurrection hope comes from knowing that— Jesus is faithful even when we are not.
Just like He did Peter, Jesus knows how to love you back to wholeness.
Wholeness begins by answering this one question, “Do you love Me?”
In the Greek, John 21:15-19, shows an even deeper look into the conversation between Peter and Jesus. There are four words used for “love” in Greek.
When Jesus asks if Peter loved Him, He was saying, “Do you “agape” Me?”
The word agape is the kind of love that is selfless and sacrificial.
Peter responds by saying, yes, of course I love you, but he uses a different Greek word for love that is “phileo.” Phileo is a brotherly love. It is affection for another, but it is not the same as agape.
Jesus asks this question three times and Peter responds all three times. Here’s the really cool thing—Each one of the three questions is a reversal of the three denials that Peter made from this mornings text! —Do you love Me?
During this conversation, Jesus’ invitation ends each time with a call to action. —“Feed my sheep.”
Essentially, Jesus is giving Peter the opportunity to demonstrate his love for Jesus by serving others.
The Bible tells us that Peter did indeed remain true to this call—he ends up giving his life to serve the Church and feed Jesus’ sheep.
Again, Point 4—Love for Jesus is proven with a life for Jesus.
My favorite thing about this conversation on the shore between Jesus and Peter.
Jesus invites Peter, as He did in the very beginning, to follow Him. —Follow Me!