John chapter 21 demonstrates the tenderness of God’s love after we have failed. After terribly abandoning Jesus during his arrest and crucifixion, Peter and the disciples decided that they would simply go back to fishing. They were probably thinking that Jesus would not trust them again after what happened. If we were in Jesus shoes (or sandals), our first option would probably be just to get a new batch of disciples. Thank God Jesus does not love like we do! Here’s how Jesus handled their failure.
First he did not abandon his disciples but cooked breakfast for them instead. Peter was so surprised that he swam to shore. They expected to be scolded or blamed but they found Jesus serving them and performing a miracle for them. This demonstrates that our failure does not nullify God’s love for us. When we have given up on ourselves, God does not give up on us.
After breakfast, Jesus asked Peter the same question three times, “Peter do you love me?” After Peter’s tentative response of, “I do”, Jesus reinstates Peter, “Feed my sheep.” This was Jesus way of restoring Peter’s ministry despite his failure. Failure (although they may have consequences) does not erase God’s plan. God can still bring out something good out of our failure.
A few weeks after this, Peter stood before thousands of people and brought them to faith in God. This was only the beginning of a long and fruitful ministry as God’s servant and a leader of the early church. While Peter thought that his failure brought the end of God’s plan for him, it was actually only the beginning. Failure is not the end.
Remember: Although we fail, God’s love will not.
By Pastor Jong Duterte