“How could I have denied Him? Peter wept bitterly. He remembered that Jesus had told him that before the rooster crowed, that he would deny him three times, but Peter had vowed, “even if I have to die with you, Jesus, I will never deny you.”
But that’s exactly what happened….Peter denied Jesus. Peter denied knowing Jesus…not once, not twice, but three times.
He had walked with Him, lived with him, breathed with him, learned from him, watched him perform mircles…Peter loved Jesus.
How could He deny Him?
And how on God’s green earth, could Peter possibly be the rock that Jesus would build his church on?
No doubt Peter felt horrible and needed to be encouraged by Jesus.
Jesus, after having been crucified and risen again, finds Peter out in a boat fishing. Peter had returned to his old ways…to what he knew, but he wasn’t even succeeding at that, he hadn’t caught any fish all night. Jesus walked up to the edge of the water… “Cast your net on the right side of the boat”, Jesus said. (though they didn’t recognize him as Jesus at the time). Following his advice, they cast their nets on the right side of the boat.. so many fish filled the nets that they couldn’t pull them in.
Finally recognizing that it was Jesus standing on the shore, Peter rushes out of the boat to meet him.
They had breakfast together. Fish omelets or something like that. And Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes Lord, you know that I love you”. “Then feed my sheep” Jesus replied.
Three times this conversation happened. Jesus asks if Peter loves Him. Peter says yes, and Jesus replies, feed my sheep.
There’s a zillion life lessons in this passage of scripture. Research it for yourself…all of them are great lessons.
But could one lesson be that Peter needed encouraged?
When we feel called by Jesus, and we sin or fail, we often feel unworthy of serving Him anymore.
I’ve been there. Perhaps you have too.
And like Peter, we need to repent, we need to ask His forgiveness, we need to forgive ourselves...and we need restored.
If you’ve messed up, and you’ve repented, perhaps this message is for you…to encourage you to move forward with your ministry, with what God has called you to do.
(insert your name here) do you love me? Then feed my sheep.