What I read today;

1 John 2-3; John 20-21; Micah 7 & Nahum 1; Proverbs 17; Ecclesiastes 7; Deuteronomy 20

I feel bad for Peter.  I can relate to him in a lot of ways.  I wonder what he was thinking for the three days after Jesus death.  I bet he stared at the tops of his sandals a lot.  I wonder if the guilt was overwhelming.  Peter had abandoned his Lord.  Worse yet, he denied he even knew him.

When the women told Peter and John that the tomb was empty, I imagine Peter and John sprinting until their lungs hurt.  I bet Peter’s mind was racing when he looked into the empty tomb.  The emotions had to be incredible when he touched the empty burial cloth.  Did he think, “maybe he wasn’t kidding about rising from the dead.”

Then when Jesus appears to the disciples, we don’t hear anything from the brash Peter.  Was he standing in the corner?  Did he have trouble making eye contact with Jesus?  Was the guilt overwhelming?

I’ll bet that’s why he wanted to go fishing.  Peter was always a fisherman at heart.  You can sit on your boat, watching the water gently rock against the hull with nothing but your thoughts and peaceful solitude.  When I’ve fished, even with others, there’s usually very little talking.  What do you think went through his mind that night.  Listening to the waves, deep inside his own head.  Regret and shame, welling up inside of him.

Maybe that’s why when John told him, “that’s Jesus” Peter grabbed his robe and jumped into the water. He got to Jesus, but his guilt didn’t allow him to speak.  He just went back to the boat and helped the disciples pull in the fish.

Then sitting quietly at the fire, Jesus compassion for Peter showed through.

“Peter, do you love me?”

I can feel the tears welling up in Peter’s eyes.  I wonder if his jaw trembled and his throat choked up.  I’ll bet his head was staring at his feet when he responded.

I wonder if the tears began rolling down his cheeks when Jesus asked him the second time.

After Jesus asked the question the third time, I bet there wasn’t much left of Peter emotionally.

After all, Jesus had just told him that he was forgiven.  More than that Jesus had just welcomed him back into service. He had just said to him that nothing would ever get in between them again.  He’d told Peter that he would die in the service of the savior and then come spend eternity with the Savior whom he’d betrayed.

God’s love would cover over Peter’s failure.

Do we sometimes feel like we’ve let Jesus down?  Do we have moments when our failures haunt us?  Do they sit in the back of our minds accusing us?

Listen to Jesus quietly, asking you this question:

“Do you love me?”

Then remember that he loves you more!

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