Peter, Do You Love Me?

2022-05-01 – Year C – Easter 3 – The Rev. Canon Christopher M. Klukas
Acts 9:1-19a; Psalm 33:1-11v; Revelation 5:6-14; John 21:1-14

Gone Fishin’

  • This is the third and last resurrection appearance in the Gospel of John
  • “Sea of Tiberias” is another name for the “Sea of Galiliee.”
  • The Great Commission in Matthew takes place on a mountain in Galilee (28:16).
    • Perhaps Peter and his companions have returned to Capernaum and are waiting to meet Jesus.
  • It is night time, the disciples may have been getting sleepy, or they may have stayed up late recounting the stories of the last several weeks.
    • Peter says, perhaps out of the blue, I’m going fishing.
  • Compare with Luke 5:1-11: toiling all night with nothing to show for it. “Follow me”
  • This experience with Jesus is a reminder of where Peter has come from and a reminder of his initial calling to “catch men” (Luke 5:10).
  • Charcoal fire (v. 9)
    • Flashback – John 18:17–18

Do You Love Me?

  • Have you ever had a conflict with someone or felt ashamed because you sinned against them? What is it like the first time you see them again? This is now Peter’s third time seeing Jesus after the resurrection, but also after his three denials.
  • Read John 21:9-19
  • How many times does Jesus ask if Peter loves him? Three
    • How many times did Peter deny Jesus? Three
    • After the third time of asking, it says that Peter was grieved (v.17).
    • “Jesus probed him until he opened the wounded heart of this would-be follower. Off-the-cuff replies and well-meaning superficial responses to the risen Lord will not work in the call of Jesus to the life of discipleship.”
  • After three questions and three answers, Jesus tells Peter of the persecution that will come for him and then he issues the call once more. “Follow me.” Perhaps an allusion back to the first miraculous catch of fish and the initial call to follow.

Restored

  • This is a beautiful example of repentance.
  • Peter has sinned against Jesus, Jesus gently but firmly brings the sin to mind, Peter reaffirms his love for Jesus, and Jesus restores him.
  • The same pattern plays out in our own lives as well.
    • Our sins should grieve us.
    • Jesus loves us so much that he doesn’t want us to linger in our separated state. He doesn’t want us wondering about what he thinks of us. He will remind us of our sin because he wants us to be reconciled. That is exactly the reason he died on the cross.
    • It can be painful to revisit our sins and admit our wrongdoing, but on the other side we are restored, just like Peter.
  • Point to the prayer of confession
  • Recommissioned

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