– The Sifting of Peter – Restored

xenia-bogarova-412063-unsplash

Before we finish this little series together, I want to tell you that I love you. Knowing that I have brothers and sisters who are seeking Jesus and longing for His movement in their lives is one of the most encouraging things I can think on. Thank you for your constant encouragement!

Review

Over the past couple of posts, we have taken an in-depth look at the near demise of the Apostle Peter. For the sake of review and to awaken our hearts to engage with the text we will look at today, here is a brief synopsis of the last two posts:

Peter, a passionate Apostle of Jesus, experienced a great shaking of faith at the hand of Satan. Full of self-confidence and self-reliance, Peter openly rejected Jesus Christ three times.

Jesus, being rich in mercy, awakened Peter from his sin-induced spiritual slumber. With one look of His eye, the Son of God shattered the schemes of the devil and brought Peter to repentance…

Restoration

The last time we left Peter, he was rushing out of the high priest’s courtyard weeping bitterly (Lk. 22:62.) Jesus had awakened him to his indwelling sin; self-reliance. Let us now turn our hearts to the Gospel of John and see how Jesus finishes Peter’s restoration.

Fishing

In chapter 21, John tells us that some of the disciples, including Peter, have gone fishing on the Sea of Tiberius. They have fished all night and have come back tired and empty handed. Then, in the most wonderful way, Jesus conceals Himself and calls out to the tired fishermen from the shore. The disciples, unaware that they were talking to Jesus, let down their nets at the request of the “stranger” (Jn. 21:6.) The ensuing catch of fish was so immense, they could not haul their nets aboard. Immediately, John looks at Peter and says with absolute certainty, “It is the Lord.”

Can I just pause and giggle for a moment? This is one of my most favorite scenes in the Gospel of John. Look at how Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples (Jn. 21:4-8.) Rather than announce Himself from the sea shore, Jesus lets the disciples, specifically Peter, discover Him.

If you look back to Luke 5:4-9, you will find an almost identical miracle performed by Jesus. Guess who Jesus is sitting with when He does that miracle: Peter. This is the miracle Jesus uses to call Peter out of fishing and into Apostleship (Lk. 5:10-11.) Now, knowing this, look back to John’s gospel and see what Jesus is doing; Jesus is again calling Peter back into Apostleship. But He does it in such a wonderful way!

Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, allowed Peter to put the pieces together. Without a doubt, the moment Peter looked down and saw the amount of fish in his nets, he knew Jesus was on the shore. The memory lodged in the back of his mind rushed to the forefront and flooded him with images of His Lord. His response is fitting; he throws his clothes on and leaps off the boat to Jesus. Jesus used a past experience to reveal Himself to Peter in an intimate way. How beautiful!

One Question

After eating breakfast together, Jesus pulls Peter aside. Three times, Jesus repeats this question, “Peter, son of John, do you love me?” A lot can be said about the Greek here. However, I just want to draw our attention to the simplicity of Jesus’ question.

Jesus didn’t make any reference to that cursed night. He never brought up what was seared into Peter’s memory. Instead, He simply asked Peter one question, “Do you love me?” After Peter confirms his love for Jesus, The Son of God restores Peter completely. The simplicity of this conversation is staggering.

Simplicity & Response

How often do I dwell on my past sins and convince myself of my hopelessness? Praise God, Jesus never does this. He did not condemn Peter…He asked the question that really mattered, “Do you love me?

Are you making this difficult? Are you reliving the sins of the past in your mind? Know this with certainty, this is not your path to restoration. Rather, hear the voice of Jesus asking this question afresh, “Do you love me?” Drop everything and confirm your love for Him. You don’t need to relive or dwell on the past…He isn’t concerning Himself with that. He wants to know one thing; “Do you love me?

This is the simplicity of the Gospel: Christ is all and in all and has made a way for the ruined and damned to be restored. The burden of Calvary was enough; Jesus has won. Now, trust that His finished work is just that: finishedGive him yourself and declare your love for Him. He is our everything!

I love you,

TJMcPherson

(P.S. I would love to hear how the Lord has used this series in your life. If you would like, shoot me a message over the “Prayer Request” page or leave a comment below!)

 

 

– The Humble King – Humble Beginnings

ze-zorzan-57617-unsplash

In my study of Jesus and His display of humility, I have been overwhelmed with a new sense of attraction towards Him. His humility is so inviting, so approachable. As I spend a little time over the next few posts looking at our Humble King, it is my prayer that you will be attracted to Jesus in a new and fresh way as well. Let’s jump in!

At the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus goes down to the Jordan river to be baptized by John the Baptist. Matthew’s Gospel reads like this:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.

Matthew 3:13-15

What a beautiful picture. Can you place yourself in John’s shoes for just a moment? Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, the Anointed One of God, is walking towards you. All your life, even from the time of your conception (you’ve got to check out Luke 1:39-44), you have been waiting for this day with great anticipation and joy. Finally, the Messiah has come and will deliver Israel from her oppressors. Finally, the Anointed One will reveal His strong arm and destroy Rome with its oppression.

And this is where the picture unravels for John… Jesus is not coming as a conquering Messiah, ready to enact justice upon the enemies of God (at least not in the way he understood.) No. To John’s amazement, Jesus is among the crowd of sinners, awaiting His turn in line to be baptized. Can you here the surprise and bewilderment in his voice, “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”

Ah, but this is our Jesus. Always ready to identify with the sinner, ready to submit to the Father and fulfill all that has been commanded of Him, ready to humble Himself and let John, His creation, take Him by the hand and dip Him in the Jordan. Always ready to humble Himself.

This was the opening of His earthly ministry; a display of humility. This is who Jesus has revealed Himself to be; a Humble King

Oh, how this utterly defies the arrogance that I am so prone to walk in! When I see Jesus for who He is, I am immediately drawn to die to myself and to lovingly submit to Him. His humility attracts me like nothing else can. May He draw us deeper and deeper still!

Questions to Get You Seeking

When was the last time you were still and just embraced Jesus? How long has it been since you gave yourself over to Him, not in the name of duty or obligation, but in intimacy and with a desire to be one with Him? These are the questions I am asking myself.

“May this be life’s aim, still to explore the wealth in His name!”

TJMcPherson

A New Series – The Humble King

whoislimos-265482-unsplash

Humility…

What a slippery word. It represents something that we all desperately want, yet, if we are being honest, is something that seems to evade us at the worst of times. The moment we begin to get this humility thing down, we start feeling proud about our humility…or if you are like me, you learn that you can do “humble things” while being completely self-centered. Pretty encouraging stuff, huh? Yikes.

Well, that is why I want to take the next three weeks to look at Jesus and see what real humility looks like. I want to be like Him and walk in humility. I want to please my Father and shine like a light in the midst of a proud and wayward generation, don’t you?

Before we launch into this series for the next three weeks, let’s take a look at what humility is.

Humility is a State-of-Being, Not Something We Do

Think on this: When was the last time you complimented someone and said something like this, “wow, that took some real humility.” Were you taking note of the action or thing that your friend did? Not really, right? You were probably more impressed with the way or the manner in which the said deed was done. They did what they did in humility.

Humility is the Antithesis of Pride

Where pride exists, humility is absent…where humility exists, pride is absent. Take Paul’s conversion story in Acts chapter 9 as an example. When Jesus reveals Himself to Saul of Tarsus, Saul collapses and is blinded. As he stumbles about in his blindness, Saul is absolutely humbled. All that he was, all that he leaned upon, and all that he pridefully claimed as his own in Judaism was stripped away. He was humbled and his pride was destroyed.

Jesus is Humility

Jesus has always been. There was never a moment in time when Jesus was absent or non-existent. He is the Eternal Life (1 John ch.1). If that is true, then there was never a moment when Jesus was not being humble, it is who He is. He never steps outside of humility. He never does anything out of pride; He is always humble. Dig a little deeper…we only know what humility looks like because Jesus has been revealing Himself since the beginning of creation. Ponder this: Jesus is humility.

Like I said earlier, I want to be humble. But I guess I am really saying I want to be more intimate with the Person of Jesus. I love Him and I hope you do too.

Will you join me for the next three weeks and lean into Jesus, The Humble King?