Peter was a character. First he claimed, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” (Matthew 26:33)
Then after Jesus is arrested he “followed at a distance” and betrayed Jesus 3 times.
He witnessed Jesus alive after his crucifixion, yet, where does he go, back to Galilee, back to his old occupation — fishing. Peter probably thought that his life as a disciple was over.
The Gospel According to John
Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.John 21:1-17
Peter gets a Second Chance
Peter denied Jesus 3 times and here Jesus asks him 3 times if he loves Him. The first 2 times, Jesus uses the Greek word “agape”, which is unconditional love — Godly love. Peter replies, Yes, Lord, I phileo you.” Phileo meaning brotherly love. That’s where the name Philadelphia comes from — the City of Brotherly love.
The 3rd time, Jesus comes down to Peter’s level and asks him if he phileo Him and Peter says, “Yes, I phileo you.” The Jesus tells him again to “Feed my sheep.” He re-called Peter into ministry.
Prophesying Peter’s Death
“I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”
Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.
Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.John 21: 18-25
Peter would go on to preach the Good News — the Gospel of Salvation of Jesus Christ — and ultimately end up in Rome where Nero had him crucified in 65 AD. However, Peter, not wanting to be crucified like Jesus, asked to be crucified upside down.
Jesus is the God of Second Chances
No matter what you’ve done, Jesus, through His gift of Grace, gives everyone a second chance.
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.Ephesians 4:21-24
That is repentance.
You need to repent of your sins and follow Jesus — only Jesus — not the man-made rules and rituals of many churches. That’s very similar to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
Jesus’ Grace also buys you a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven
If you want the assurance of a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!
Top picture: View of the “Feed my Sheep” statue at the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter in Tabgha, Israel