“Do you love Me more than these?” John 21:15 (NLT)
The scene took place by a campfire at dawn on a beach beside the Sea of Galilee. It was an experience that would change Peter’s life as He encountered the risen Christ for the third time. The whole experience was redemptive! Jesus would lovingly restore Simon Peter to ministry. Anyone who has fallen can understand the pain of personal failure and the regret that can haunt you with guilt and shame. It’s disabling. You feel washed up. Jesus knew that Peter had to overcome such regrets if he would be restored to accomplish his divine destiny. Jesus wanted Peter to know that he wasn’t washed up but that his past failures had been washed away! God had so much more in store for Peter than he could even imagine! God has a plan and purpose for your life as well, one that is immeasurably greater than you can possibly imagine. It is your divine destiny! Could it be that, like Peter, you too need to deal with some past regrets that have been a barrier to God’s blessing in your life? The campfire scene that Jesus chose must have taken Peter back to another campfire beside which he had warmed himself when he denied Christ. The pain of that personal failure was more than he could bear. Beside this campfire Jesus asked Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?” What was Jesus asking? Do you love Me more than these fish? Peter was a fisherman by trade. Was Jesus asking if Peter loved Him more than fishing? Maybe, but I think it was much deeper than that. Perhaps Jesus was asking Peter, “Do you love Me more than these other disciples?” “Do you love Me as much as you boasted you once did?” Three times Peter had denied Christ, and three times Jesus dealt with the heart of the matter. Do you love Me more than life itself? Peter loved Jesus and yet came to an understanding of the limitations of his own human love through personal failure. But this didn’t stop the love of God for Peter. Jesus wanted Peter to realize that it wasn’t the measure of his love for Jesus as much as it was the measure of God’s love for him that mattered most! It was the love of God that restored Peter and recommissioned him for service. Jesus had a work for Peter to do. He was called to be a fisher of men, to shepherd the flock of God. It was his destiny, and Peter would never be the same. He wasn’t washed up. His sins were washed away, and he was restored by the love of God. It’s the enemy’s deceit to convince us we are washed up! If you’re not dead, God’s not done! Experience the cleansing tide of Jesus’ blood that washes all our sins away! Then act on His call in your life.