“Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep.” John 21:16
Lord Jesus, this was no “normal” chat between you and Peter. It was a demonstration of the only love better than life; a celebration of the restorative reach and riches of the Gospel; a grace-ing of our shamed-filled hearts when we fail you miserably.
Peter blew it big time—in fact, big time times 3. After your arrest in Gethsemane, he denied he even knew you. But after your resurrection, you made it very clear you always knew Peter. You knew his weaknesses when you first called him… just like you know ours.
You didn’t withdraw your love from Peter. You asked him three times, “Do you love me?” No question is more humbling, exposing, centering, and transforming. It is an onramp to redemption and restoration—an onramp we must take.
Do we love you, Jesus? You know everything. You know when like Peter (and Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Jacob, Samson, King David—even Peter’s fellow apostles, James and John, who came to you with their mom seeking self-glory (Matt. 20:20-28)… you know the many ways our thoughts, words, and actions demonstrate our failure to love you.
We grieve it, own it, repent—and would despair if the Gospel wasn’t true. Your grace doesn’t minimize the costly impact of our sin. Your grace demonstrates the costly wonder of the Gospel.
We can’t undo are failures, Jesus. But we can (and must) rest in what you’ve done for us—and will do in and through us as we move forward. We love you only because you first loved us, and still love us. Show us how to love you in the aftermath of our choices and the forever-math of your grace. So Very Amen.