The one who is hurt often is the one who can restore.
Peter was the one who was always ready to Peter was the go to guy the one who was eager and first to proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah the one who Jesus showed great confidence in. Remember He was the one who could not wait to get out of the boat to meet with Jesus. During what is called the last supper Peter was the one who swore to fight to his death if needed. In John chapter 13 the story of peter continues Jesus gathers his disciples for the Passover meal. Jesus gets up while the disciples before his disciples’ and takes the lowly task of washing their feet. Peter asks Him, I like to say incredulously, with humility “You shall never wash my feet, Jesus answered him “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me” Peter in typical enthusiasm say then wash my hands and head as well. If a foot washing gets me a share then I want more! Later in the meal after Jesus shares that he will be betrayed by one in the room and later when Peter asks him where is going Jesus says where I am going you cannot follow me now. Peter declares “he would lay down my life for you!” Jesus state before the rooster crows you will deny me three times. Finally in the garden after Judas betrays Jesus, Peter draws a sword to prove Jesus wrong and hacks off one of the ears of those there to arrest Jesus, a high priest’ servant named Malcus. Jesus again rebukes him and tells him to put the sword back into the sheath and heals the servant.
Peter and one other disciple follow the group who arrested Jesus. There the other disciple gets peter into the court but the girl who was keeping the door said aren’t you one of this man’s disciples’. To this he states “I am not”. Peter enters the courtyard and stands near a charcoal fire to keep warm and gets asked again “aren’t you one of his disciples?” Peter again denies with and says “I am not”, finally one of the servants of the high priest a relative of Malcus states “did not I see you in the garden with Him?” Matthew reports Peter invokes a curse on himself and swears he does not know him and then the rooster crows and Peter leaves weeping bitterly.
Jesus is publically beaten, abused and crucified and gives up his life. After three days he rises from the grave. Appearing first to the Mary’s they go back to share the news, Peter and what is described by John as the other disciple run to verify the empty tomb and Peter goes right in and believes. However he remains with the shame of his betrayal in denial. Jesus reveals himself and teaches them further the truths of God’s plan of redemption and what the implication of the cross what His death and resurrection means and tells them of the coming indwelling of the very Holy Spirit of God. But Jesus was not done with Peter yet. Peter decides to go fishing with some of his friends and after a long night of fishing and no catching they started to come back to the shore when a man on the beach tells them to try one more time and cast the nets on the right side of the boat. Peter has a déjà vu moment and remembers this was the second time a man tried to tell him how to fish in such a similar way realizes that this is Jesus and is once again jumping right out of the boat to swim and get to Jesus as soon as he could.
After they ate breakfast Jesus say to Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter replies “Yes Lord; you know that I love you.” To this Jesus says “feed my lambs.” Jesus then says “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” again Peter replies “Yes Lord; You know that I love you.” Jesus says “Tend my sheep” Jesus then says a third time “Simon, son of John do you love me” to this Peter was grieved because he was asked a third time “do you love me” and Peter says, “Lord you know everything, you know that I love you.” To this Jesus says “feed my sheep”
Now it strikes me that this is one of the keys to Peter’s restoration. As he denied the Lord three times right after he declared and boasts to all that he would die for him and Jesus indicates that he will be given a second opportunity and assigns him responsibilities’ of caring for the flock of lambs and sheep to feed and tend them.
How does this apply to us the normal everyday Christians who follow yet at a distance and were not called as the disciples were? Yet have we not been called? By God’s own spirit he draws us to himself? When we say things that hurt one another and need restoration don’t we who are hurt also need to say to one another do you Love me? Then get back to work reaching a lost and dying world by discipling one another, bearing one another’s burdens, sharing the burden’s and sufferings of the cross and the redemptive power of the resurrection?