Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
As Jesus warned his disciples that his enemies were approaching, Peter boasted that he would defend him to the death (Mark 14:27-31). But when Jesus was arrested and brought to trial, Peter panicked and denied Jesus three times.
In John 21, after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, we find that Jesus has come to meet with Peter and the other disciples in Galilee (see Matthew 28:10; Mark 16:7). He had some tough and soul-searching questions to ask this disciple (John 21:15-19). Jesus wanted to restore Peter to be a part of the foundation of his church, which was to expand throughout the world (see Matthew 16:13-20; Ephesians 2:20).
“Feed my sheep,” said the good shepherd (John 21:17; see John 10:11).
What reassuring words! What peace they must have brought to the turmoil in Peter’s heart! And Peter did feed the Master’s sheep soon afterward—on the day of Pentecost, by the power of the Holy Spirit poured out through Jesus (Acts 2).
By God’s abundant grace, many other believers who have denied, disobeyed, and even rebelled against Jesus have experienced not only his forgiveness and reconciliation but also his restoration to fruitful service.
Lord Jesus, your love for me is so wide and long and high and deep that I struggle to grasp it! Fill me again with your fullness so that I may be useful in your kingdom. Amen.
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