15When they had finished breakfast, 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.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt 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. 18Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 21:15-19)
On the Seashore of the Sea of Galilee, we experience a wonderful and blessed moment between Peter and Jesus. Before the crucifixion in a fire lit courtyard, Peter denied Jesus three times. This experience almost destroyed Peter. Feeling guilty and depressed, he shrunk into the night questioning what he had done. A friend whom he loved needed affirmation, and all he could do was to say, “I don’t know him.” Then a few days later on this beautiful morning while he was fishing, Peter sees Jesus. Once he recognizes him, Peter jumps into the water and swims to the shore. There we find a most dramatic and beautiful encounter between two friends. Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Of course the answer is, “Yes Lord, you know I do.” This is a moment of love, forgiveness, and restoration. Jesus was restoring Peter and affirming him.
We all do acts in our lives that separate us from each other and from God. This is very evident today.
There needs to be a time of restoration. Restoration means not only to be made right again, but it allows us to move forward because we are willing to let go of the past and plot a new course with our lives. If you are restored, then you are forgiven. Being forgiven means you are going in a new direction. Too often people want to be restored and forgiven but continue to live the same kind of lifestyle. This will not work. This wrong kind of response is very evident even within the church today.
People today need to have moments where we come back to Jesus. There needs to be a similar experience like Peter had with Jesus to bring us back to the right place in our lives.
We talk about what Jesus would do (WWJD) when in fact Christians already knows what Jesus would do. The challenge is what will we do? It would be easier to keep living the way we live or take the initiative to live like Jesus. How will we answer Jesus when Jesus asks us, “Do you love me?” Let us be careful in our answer because if we say we love Jesus, then we commit ourselves to live like Jesus.