Monday, March 09, 2020

In their own words: Day 13

John 21.17

Jesus said to Peter the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

After their breakfast on the beach (see yesterday) Jesus asks Peter three times whether he loves him. It is the first conversation they have after the resurrection, and Peter is all too aware that he had let Jesus down when he denied knowing him. Peter’s sense of regret and guilt are surely triggered by Jesus’ questions to him. Although nothing is said directly about Peter’s denial of Jesus, they both know what they are talking about. But Peter discovers that, not only has Jesus not rejected him, his call to him has not changed. He is to “feed the sheep”. Indeed, perhaps the experience of failing so completely ends up being the making of him as a leader. If he still thought he was invincible and unshakeable, he might have no understanding of what life really felt like for others, and be dangerous in leadership.

·         Think of the “failures” in your life. What have they taught you?

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