God’s Hope for Your Heart from John 21

JESUS IS YOUR TOTAL RESTORATION

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”
“Feed My lambs,” He told him.
A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”
“Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.
He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”
Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
He said, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.”
“Feed My sheep,” Jesus said.
(John 21:15-17)

Peter was hurt because Jesus kept pressing the issue, but that’s exactly what Peter needed.

He had denied Jesus three times.  Three times he had demonstrated by his actions that he loved himself and his own safety more than he loved his Savior.  Three times he had put his own needs above the needs of anyone else, and when the rooster crowed like Jesus said it would, Peter’s heart had broken and he had run away in shame.

Peter didn’t need just a surface-level, “Don’t worry about it” from Jesus.  He needed complete restoration.

When Jesus engaged Peter after breakfast, it wasn’t because He needed to know that Peter loved Him.  He did it because Peter needed to know that he loved Him.  Peter needed to know that Jesus had forgiven Him, and he needed the confidence to forgive himself.

Three denials needed three restorations.  Three failures needed three expressions of forgiveness.  Jesus didn’t just give Peter a one-size-fits-all encounter to help him feel better and go on his way.  As Peter responded with humility and faith, Jesus gave him the specific things he needed to be fully restored right where he was.

Will you let Him do the same for you?

May you look to Jesus in your moment of shame and failure.  May you trust Him, and confess and repent of your sin not in fear, but in confident hope that God is willing and able to restore you totally and welcome you right back no matter how far you’ve wandered.

Walk in this today, and as you do, may you take heart and find hope in this glorious truth: Jesus is your total restoration.

-Pastor Phillip


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