John 21.15-25 — Peter Reinstated

Peter failed Jesus three times when he denied him the night before his death. But he is still devoted to Jesus; his mistake didn’t make him turn away. It has been said, “What counts most is not what mistakes you make, but what you do after your mistakes. That’s what defines you.”

Jesus shows compassion for his fickle friend and deliberately speaks and acts to show him forgiveness and grace. “Peter, do you love me?”

“Of course I love you,” Peter said. This happens three times, just as his denial of Christ happened three times.

Then Jesus lets Peter know, prophetically, that his love for Christ will take him through dangerous and deadly waters. Jesus refuses to shield Peter from hard truths. Whereas before the crucifixion Peter swore he would lay down his life for Jesus, here Jesus assures him that it will indeed cost him his life. It doesn’t matter what anyone else feels about it, or what anyone does about it. The ultimate values in life are to belief in Jesus as the Son of God and to live that out with full commitment, no matter where it leads you. As believers we all walk in the same direction, but we all walk different (our own) roads.