John 21: 15,22 “… do you love Me more than these? … Then feed My lambs…. Jesus replied, ‘… As for you, follow Me.”
In his classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes,
“Three years before, Jesus had said – ‘Follow Me,’ and Peter had followed easily, the fascination of Jesus was upon him, he did not need the Holy Spirit to help him to do it. Then he came to the place where he denied Jesus, and his heart broke. Then he received the Holy Spirit, and now Jesus says again, ‘Follow Me.’ There is no figure in front now saving the Lord Jesus Christ. The first ‘Follow Me’ had nothing mystical in it, it was an external following; now it is a following in internal martyrdom.”
Throughout the Gospel of John, we witness the ups and downs of Peter’s relationship with Jesus. After denying Jesus three times, Peter reached a point of self-realization and humility. The moment Jesus turned and looked at him, Peter was flooded with the memory of Jesus’ prediction. Overwhelmed with sorrow, he left the courtyard in tears.
Similar to Peter, we often learn important lessons through failure rather than success. Peter had to confront his own limitations and shed all self-reliance. But the good news is that failure does not have to be the end. As long as we continue to follow the Light, our failures are not final.
Those of us who have experienced the shame and sorrow of sin, understand the weight it carries. However, unlike Judas, who succumbed to despair, Peter chose to persistently follow the Light. When he encountered the resurrected Christ by the Sea of Galilee, Peter found a restoration of hope and life.
The resurrection of Jesus gives us the opportunity to start anew. We are not defined by our past failures; they no longer hold power over us. This is the message conveyed in John 21.
In the above conversation, Jesus restores and commissions Peter for service. Twice, Jesus extends the invitation to follow Him (verses 19 and 22).
Jesus was not finished with Peter, just as He is not finished with us. If you, like Peter, have made regrettable choices or felt haunted by your past, find solace in this final chapter of John. Experience the restoration that the resurrected Christ brings. Hear Jesus asking, “Do you love Me?” And, like Peter, respond by following Him.
God’s plan for you is not yet complete; your best days lie ahead. The resurrection of Jesus guarantees restoration. Rejoice in the risen Christ Who restores your life and is committed to fulfilling His purpose in you. Entrust your future to Him and continue to follow the Light each day, immersing yourself in His Word. Why not read all of John 21 now: CLICK HERE