Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jesus forgives our failings

Jesus Reinstates Peter
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" (John 21:15-19)

In this discourse, Jesus forgives Peter. You would not expect Jesus to even consider Peter for the important job of looking after the flock. But Jesus could see his heart and knew he was the man for the job. Why? Peter grew through his mistake. Peter reformed himself after his mistake. Peter knew what it was to be human, and Peter grew to accept himself and his humanity and move on from his sinfulness. Three times Peter had denied Jesus by a fire on Holy Thursday evening but now three times by a different fire on this Easter day Jesus asks Peter to look after the sheep. Jesus forgave Peter and had confidence in him to make him "the Rock" of his church.

Despite our sinfulness Jesus forgives us and has confidence in us. In the second letter to Timothy we read, “We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful, for he cannot deny his own self” (2 Tim 2:13). Jesus does not lock us in by mistakes of the past or present. We are given room to outgrow the mistakes of the past. Paul wrote, “for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here.”

If we find it difficult to accept ourselves with our faults and failings, then its no wonder we find it difficult to believe that God can forgive our faults and failings. What happened to Peter can happen to us also if we have the faith to accept God’s love and acceptance of us. Jesus forgives us and accepts us after we have denied him, after we have disbelieved, after we have given up, after we have sinned. It takes an act of faith to believe in God, and it takes an act of faith to believe that God forgives us and accepts us and our repentance after sin. Sometimes faith is the courage to accept acceptance, the courage to accept God’s forgiveness and acceptance of ourselves. Peter recovered his faith after his despair, he was able to say “Yes Lord, you know that I love you”.

So let us not allow the past to overcome us. Instead let us be like Peter and repent and reform ourselves and allow the Lord to put us to work for him again.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

No comments:

Post a Comment