Our Shortcomings

December 18, 2015

 

John 21:15-19 (Amplified)

15When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do–with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Feed My lambs. 16Again He said to him the second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Shepherd (tend) My sheep. 17He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, instinctive, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]? Peter was grieved (was saddened and hurt) that He should ask him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep. 18I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself [put on your own belt or girdle] and you walked about wherever you pleased to go. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go. 19He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after this, He said to him, Follow Me!

Our Shortcomings

When I was a young boy I used to spend a lot of my summers down on the farm with my grandpa and grandma.  Somewhere around 13 to 14 years old my grandpa had taught me how to drive.  I remember he had, I believe it was about, a 1949 old red Chevy pick-up truck that he let me drive around the farm.  I remember a time I was watching some pheasants out in the field and looked up to find myself driving in the bar ditch.  I also remember a time I was driving in from the road to the house to park the truck.   We use to come in the driveway make a U-turn and park between a couple of big elm trees.  This time I came in a little too fast and didn’t quite make it between the trees.  I hit one.  Fortunately it wasn’t fast enough to do much exterior damage, but of course I was quite upset that I had wrecked grandpa’s truck and had to go tell him.  He didn’t get upset or yell at me.  We looked over the truck and found that I broken one of leaf springs.  We took it off, took it town and had it welded.  Then we came back home, put it back together and we were good to go. 

I see somewhat of a parallel in this story to how Jesus dealt with Peter after he had denied Him.  Peter thought he would not fail.  Jesus already knew the weakness in Peter, as well as the rest of the disciples.  We know Peter, no doubt, hated himself for his failure and denial.  At this time after the resurrection when Jesus is with Peter He is not using this opportunity to scold Peter or punish him for his failure.  Just as three times Peter denied Christ, Jesus gave him three opportunities to reaffirm his love and commitment to Him.  He let him know that if He truly loved Him that commitment would eventually cost him his life.  Peter would not make that mistake again; in fact he would become one of Christ’s most bold and avid spokesmen, even in the face of persecution and death. 

Sometimes it takes our mistakes and failures to take us to the next level in our growth as people and as children of God.  It is a wonderful thing to have someone give us grace even when we fail.  It takes someone who believes in us, to trust us and to give us the freedom to learn from our shortcomings. 

Blessings,

#kent

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