After Breakfast

Opening Prayer

Take time to tell the Lord how much you love him.

Read John 21:15–19

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

Reflect

Understand today that in the service of Jesus, no matter what might go wrong, you can always begin again.

Can you put yourself in Peter’s shoes? I wonder if he enjoyed his breakfast? Did the smell of the charcoal fire evoke memories of the High Priest’s courtyard? Surely so.
Three times Peter had turned away from Jesus, and three times Jesus drew him back: “Peter, do you love me? And is that love the main thing in your life?” (15). Peter responds cautiously, hardly daring to trust himself: “Jesus, you can count on my love.” And in response Jesus offers him a job: “Feed my sheep.” Here is a carpenter inviting a fisherman to become a shepherd! Peter is to take care of those for whom Jesus died. Jesus’ response to our denial is to trust us more.
Marvel at the upside-down values of the kingdom of God and let the wonder of it invade your life today. In our hardened society, if we stumble there is no guarantee of a second chance. In God’s new society, failure is never final—you can always begin again.
And then the call: Follow me. It will not be easy. We expect wounds, for we follow a wounded Lord—but he will be with us on the road. We will never walk alone.

Apply

Do you love the Lord? Do you love him enough to obey his commands? What has the Lord told you to do today?

Closing prayer

“Oh! never let me wound again the Love that set me free; Nor ever crucify afresh the God Who died for me!” (John Sharp, 1645–1714).

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider