“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.” John 21:17 NIV
This Sunday we continue looking at the post resurrection stories in the gospel seeking to understand what the resurrection means for us today. In John 21:1-19 we see that Peter and the boys had gone back to their old jobs – fishing. Think about it. After experiencing the most unbelievable event in history on that first Easter morn, how could they go back to doing what they did before? How can anyone?
After showing them how to catch fish again (face it, they never caught much of anything without Jesus), Jesus asks Peter three times if he loved him. It’s like for every time Peter denied Jesus before his crucifixion Jesus offers him absolution and calls him back into ministry. This story also tells you and me that our sins do not disqualify us, and what’s more, love of Jesus confessed must be love expressed to others – “feed my sheep.” No one needed to hear this more than Peter. No one that is, except maybe us.
Last week we saw how the resurrections means our joy can be full. This Sunday we will see how the resurrection means forgiveness, even for someone who denied Jesus three times. Jesus concludes with the call to “follow me.”
Come and see,