One of the most compelling portraits in John’s gallery has to be the last one on the wall. Just as you’re about to leave the gallery you’re met with an image of forgiveness that just simply blows you away! Jesus didn’t just restore Peter, He gave Peter the opportunity to repent!
After Jesus’ resurrection, there were a lot of stories going around about the tomb being empty. The two Mary’s saw it, and Peter, knowing he had messed up, was really interested to see if it was true. Well, Peter saw the empty tomb but was still upset that Jesus was gone and that he never did get a chance to say he was sorry for denying him three times. In our reading today we find a bunch of disciples together sitting on the beach just hanging out talking about their experience with Jesus. Fed up with reliving the past Peter looked at them says, “I’m going fishing.” The rest of them sitting there were like, “well, were going with you.” If you’re going with me, he says, then you better get going…come on!
In our reading today we find a bunch of disciples together sitting on the beach just hanging out talking about their experience with Jesus. Fed up with reliving the past Peter looked at them says, “I’m going fishing.” The rest of them sitting there were like, “well, were going with you.” If you’re going with me, he says, then you better get going…come on!
I believe Peter was both scared and lost at this moment. He knew that when he denied Christ that he crossed lines he shouldn’t have crossed. In fact, I think when Peter thinks back to the denial, he would say that there was so much going on that he really didn’t deny Christ, he was just tired and under pressure.
Not sure if Jesus was really going to come back, Peter must have been thinking, you know what, just leave me down here on my own, but I’ll wait for it.
At this point, while Peter is trying to get life back to normal and cover up how he feels, his heart is screaming inside saying, please, please, please, come back and sing to me. Sing to me Lord, the song of your life.
All the activity on the boat couldn’t stop Peter from stopping what he was doing and looking out over the water, with tears in his eyes he realizes how bad he wants it. He realizes all that he denied. He wants it now, now, to me, he thinks as he pounds his fist on the railing of the boat. To me…Then it hits him!
In fact, it hits him so hard, he falls to his knees. It was in my place, in my place, were lines that I couldn’t change…I was lost, I was lost. So Peter now turns to us and asks: How long must you wait for it? How long must you pay for it?
This is Peter’s song, but not just Peter’s song, it’s our song! It’s the song that we sing when we realize that we too have denied Christ.
What an incredible image! What an incredible promise! Peter was given his second chance and there was no way he was going to mess this up. Can you image the way Peter felt before this day? He knew he messed up; he knew he failed his Rabbi, and he wasn’t sure he was going to get an opportunity to make it right.
Jesus restored Peter and he desires to restore you today, but that will only happen of your heart is repentant.