The Apostle Peter is one of my favorite Bible characters.
Simon was the name his momma gave him, but Jesus named him Peter, which means the Rock (Matthew 16:18). Jesus saw something special in Peter ... he was solid!
Peter was a fisherman on the picturesque Sea of Galilee. When Jesus invited him to join His revolutionary mission, Peter left his business behind and followed the itinerant Rabbi.
When Jesus, a carpenter, told the expert fisherman how to fish, Peter didn’t argue (Luke 5:5). His obedience led to a great harvest of fish.
James and John stayed in the boat during the storm. Only Peter had the courage to step out of the boat onto the tempestuous sea. When Jesus said, “come” (Matthew 14:28-30), Peter swung his legs over the edge of the fishing boat and stood upon the waters.
I like this guy! Peter had guts! And Peter had faith! But Peter was far from perfect.
On the night that Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane, Peter followed at a safe distance. When confronted, Peter wimped out! “Jesus? I don’t know who you’re talking about! I don’t know Jesus!”
Three times. “Jesus. Don’t know ‘im! Nope!”
Then, after the Lord’s resurrection, Jesus pursued Peter all the way from Jerusalem to Galilee. Peter had messed-up, but Jesus sought to restore the Rock to right relationship!
John’s twenty-first chapter records the account. Just as Peter had denied his Master three-times, Peter’s Master asked three-times... “Do you love me?” (John 21:15, 16, 17).
“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.’ 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.’ 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’ ” (John 21:15-17, ESV).
Three times... “If you love Me, then prove it by ministering to My sheep.”
That’s the way Jesus works. He restores us and immediately sends us out to serve and love others!
So, here’s a question for us to ponder today. “Do you love Jesus enough to serve your neighbor?”