Peter’s Restoration to the Resurrected Christ
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John 21:1-23, 2 Peter 1:3-15
BY Jenai Auman
John’s Gospel ends with a callback to stories from earlier in Jesus’s ministry—with Jesus calling the disciples to Himself and showing them His provision. Since the resurrection, Jesus had appeared to them twice before, but before His final departure, He appeared once more to provide for them. This time it was for them all, but especially for Peter. And it impacted more than Peter alone; it impacts the future global Church.
In Peter’s story, we see that no matter how closely we walk with Jesus or how deeply we dwell in the inner circles of faith and ministry, we hold in us the potential to deny any association with Jesus and return to the comfort of the life we lived before. We may see the scars in Jesus’s hands and touch the wound in His side and still forget He is for us—that He came to dwell with us and care for His flock as the Good Shepherd.
Peter also reminds us that no matter how much we’ve experienced the love of Christ, we may so readily refrain from extending that love to others. To love Jesus is to love those whom He loves. But Christ’s exhortations to Peter—to love the flock and feed them—do take root in Peter’s heart. Near the end of Peter’s ministry, he writes letters to the church, exhorting them to live a life forever changed and made possible only by Jesus. The resurrected Christ has eternally marked Peter, and us, with love.
Bearing witness to Peter’s restoration calls us to ask ourselves where we’ve set our gaze. How does our behavior reflect our fellowship with Christ? How are we working out our faith in Him? How are we supplementing our “faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love” (2 Peter 1:5–7)?
Christ extends an invitation to Peter: “Follow me” (John 21:19). But the invitation is for us, too. We are invited to shift our gaze from fish to fellowship in Him, from denial to deliverance. In accepting the invitation, we accept the possibility of being forever changed.