These are my notes from a message by Pastor Russ Sukhia of Liberty Church PCA based on John Chapter 21.
What a tragic fall for Peter…who had witnessed most of Christ’s miracles! All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t restore Peter to the fellowship he had with Christ after his denials.
When Christ yelled to the disciples to cast their nets on the right side, these experienced fishermen accepted his Word. It would have been easy for them to say “We’re the experts here”. Plus, imagine how tired/cranky they were. When they realize it is Jesus speaking to them, typical Peter jumps into the water to get to him quickest.
v9 – the last time Peter saw a fire of coals, he was warming himself and denied Christ 3 times.
v11 – there were 153 fish – fishermen would know how many fish they caught…it makes sense they counted their catch.
“Son of Jonah” — Peter was the son of Jonah…but spiritually so too because he didn’t obey God’s command (denied Christ).
V15 – “agape” love is unconditional, deep love – this is the love God has for us. “phileo” love is tender affection – this is how Peter now responds to Christ’s questions.
Christ asked 3 times whether Peter loved Him…using the words agape love, then phileo love. Asking Peter 3 times if he loved Him reminded Peter of his 3 denials that he even knew Christ.
Peter had previously exhibited spiritual pride…”though all forsake You, I will not”. This was like Moses drawing water from the rock and Elijah in the cave wondering if he was the only believer left. Gone is Peter’s confidence and spiritual pride. He didn’t presume to say he loved Christ with unconditional (agape) love à he was humble. See Mark 14:29
v17 – Peter was “grieved”…like the rich young ruler.
Our responsibility as Christians is to: “Feed My Lambs”, “Tend My Sheep” and “Feed My Sheep”
Apart from God’s grace, Peter could not have remained true to his love for Christ — perseverance comes from God. God is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Once God saves us, no power can snatch us away — we are eternally secure…even though we may stumble/fall terribly.
Peter’s terrible failure of denying Christ wasn’t the end – Christ restored him and used him mightily. Christ forgave/restored Peter in full view of the rest of the disciples…publicly readmitting Peter to the church and fellowship. His failure was forgiven by Christ, and Peter humbly served Him for the rest of his life…and eternity.
Sin is never a minor matter – repentance is a necessity. Confession and repentance must come before full forgiveness.
True repentance results in a changed life
God will continue to use us after we repent – the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sins.
Christ’s forgiveness allows us to begin again – and to be mightily used by God to advance His Kingdom.
To God Be The Glory!