Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” John 21:15b
Read: John 21:1-8
Listen: John 21
Not long before this beachside breakfast, Peter disowned Jesus three times. The memory and shame of what he said and did are fresh and raw. Jesus told his disciples the evening before he was crucified, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me” (Matthew 26:31). But Peter arrogantly declared, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will…Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you” (Matthew 26:33, 35).
Peter disappointed Jesus, and he disappointed himself. So many of us can identify with his anguish and shame. We’ve had a moral failure or made a wrong choice. We regret things we said, things we did, things we took or things we didn’t do.
And yet, Jesus tenderly serves Peter breakfast. The same Jesus he denied three times. Jesus’ actions express his forgiveness and friendship as he tells Peter three times he still wants and needs him on the team. Jesus died for Peter, and us, on the cross. When we accept that Jesus died for us, he forgives us and invites us to his table even when we fail.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Listen to the song “All are Welcome.” Thank God for his tender mercy that, “no matter what I’ve done, no matter where I’ve been, your mercy’s new again.” Write the phrase, “there’s a place at the table for me” on a sticky note or in your mobile device as a reminder of Jesus’ forgiveness and friendship.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.