April 29, 2011

Words of Grace

John 21:15-19

“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said … Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
John 21:15


After his resurrection, Jesus spoke words of purpose and assurance, and he also spoke words of grace.

Peter, like the other disciples, had deserted Jesus on the night of his arrest (Matthew 26:56). Later that same night, Peter had denied three times that he even knew Jesus. When Peter realized that in his fear he had disowned his Lord, his heart was broken and he wept bitterly (Matthew 26:69-75).

Our world is not often a place where others will offer us a second chance. But Peter grew to learn that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). When Jesus met his disciples at the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection, he spoke words to Peter that assured him and all of us that with God there is always room for a new start.

Three times, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him. And each time, Peter responded positively. With each of Peter’s responses, Jesus recommissioned him for service. “Feed my lambs,” he said. “Take care of my sheep.” And “Feed my sheep.”

“A broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Despite Peter’s failures and weaknesses, Jesus was assuring him and restoring him back to service in the kingdom of God. “Follow me!” he said.

Thank you, Father, for Peter’s second chance, and for the second chance you are always ready to offer me. Help me to serve you faithfully in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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