After The Resurrection…
Jesus appeared to His disciples many times after that day that Jesus rose from the dead. One specific appearance stuck out to me as I was reading about what happens after Easter.
Peter Denies Jesus Three Times
Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, who loved Jesus so much betrayed Him during Jesus’ darkest time. He not only denies Him one but three times. This denial is out of fear for Peter’s own life, but he boldly denied the one that he called Lord, savior, and friend.
“54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them.56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.”
59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.”62 And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:54-62)
“Do you love me?” asked Jesus
This is where the appearance of Jesus to Peter comes in. After the resurrection, Jesus goes to Peter and some of the other disciples. They are sitting on a beach and Jesus’ gives Peter three opportunities to rid of the dark cloud of the three denials.
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18
Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 21:15-19)
Jesus’ Immediate Mercy
Jesus had just been through ridicule, torture and death. He was denied by the one who says he loves Him. Almost immediately after the crucifixion and ressurection Jesus offers Peter a chance to redeem Himself. Jesus’ immediate mercy for Peter is unfathomable. What we must understand is that Jesus’ mercy for us is that same mercy.
Through this passage in the Bible, Jesus is clearly showing us that we cannot be defined by our mistakes and sins if we accept Him as our savior. Mercy pours out of Jesus onto us. That is the whole reason that He died for us, so we could receive mercy and be saved! What kind of love that must be…
We must understand that when He is asking Peter to feed His sheep, He is explaining that we must do more than just say we love Jesus. We must act upon it. True love has a call to action. It has self-sacrifice and a mission. If we really love God, let’s do something about it.
As you go through this crazy life remember that if you have God you have everything. If you love God show the world that love. Finally, if Jesus is your savior, no matter how many times you fall Jesus will pick you back up until the very end!
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