So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these? (John 21:15)
How does your life compare to that of Simon Peter, the enthusiastic, strong-willed, impulsive fisherman who was one of the first followers of Jesus Christ? For three years, he lived as one of Jesus’ disciples and became the spokesman for the Twelve. It was Peter who first confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” a truth that Jesus said was divinely revealed to Peter.
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-17)
On the day of Pentecost, Peter was the main speaker to the crowd in Jerusalem. Arrests, beatings, and threats could not dampen Peter’s resolve to preach the risen Christ. If good works were the measure of a “good” Christian, Peter’s salvation was assured.
But wait! Despite his deep belief and allegiance to The Lord, it was Peter who denied knowing Jesus three times.
Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.
Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept. (Mark 14:71-72)
Despite all his strengths, Peter had failed. Still, the Lord did not forsake him but continued to mold Peter into exactly who Jesus intended Peter to be.
It was on the banks of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus appeared to the disciples for the third time after his resurrection. He helped them catch fish and cooked breakfast. Most importantly, Jesus guided Peter to come to grips with his limited (read human) ability to love (phileo: reciprocal love) compared with the love (agapao: endless, unselfish, non-reciprocal love) of God.
The good news is that it’s okay not to be perfect. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son taught us that Christianity is about grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The fact is that none of us can live up to a set of laws as a means for going to heaven. Fortunately, the path to salvation is not through good works. It comes by asking God to forgive our sins as we place our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).
Want to learn more? Then join us every Sunday morning at 11 am as we thank the Lord for his love and forgiveness. Our pastoral staff and congregation would love to meet your and share our love for Christ.
Also, please feel free to call Pastor Tommy for a free copy of Andy Stanley’s book How Good is Good Enough. It will help you grow your relationship with God. Contact Pastor Tommy at 828-667-9818 or email Tommy@bentcreekbaptist.org.