J.C. Thompson |

Despite Peter’s rejection, Jesus forgave and completely restored him. Christ restores us fully and completely too.

January 1, 2023
J.C. Thompson

A. INTRODUCTION (1 Peter 5:10; C/R: Matthew 28:16)

  1. Our Theme Verse today is written by the main person in our passage, Peter.
  2. 1 Peter 5:10 (NLT) - In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.
  3. Peter is speaking of God’s kindness and his restoration after suffering.
  4. Today we will talk about Peter’s restoration by Jesus after his rejection of Him.

B. Christ’s Restoration…

1. DECLARES our Limitations. (John 21:1-6; C/R: Romans 3:10-11)

  1. John 21:1-5 (NLT) - 21 Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. 2 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. 3Simon 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. 4At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who He was. 5He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied.
  2. One of the most important complexities of this passage of Scripture is understanding why the disciples went fishing in the first place.
  3. Option 1: They were disobeying Jesus’ command to go to the mountain and wait for Jesus.
  4. Option 2: They needed to eat and thus went to catch some food in the way that they knew they could without having to go and buy some.
  5. Regardless of where you fall on this debate, the reality is that the disciples did not accomplish what they set out to do, which is to catch fish.
  6. This is some of y’alls experience every time you go fishing. You get blanked.
  7. Then Jesus enters and almost pokes at them it feels like. Yo, fellas did you catch anything?
  8. This small snippet of a conversation illustrates how the disciples were feeling about their very life purpose at this moment. Remember, they had been given a big picture of their mission in the kingdom of God.
  9. They were going to be fishers of men.
  10. But then Jesus died. Hopes, dreams, dashed. Disorientation at any attempt to find how to live a God-honoring life without the expert at their side.
  11. Then perhaps even more shocking, Jesus is resurrected. He is alive and around. But the disciples are operating under a new reality: what is actually possible in this life?
  12. Confronted with this incredible miracle of resurrection, not to mention the miracles when Jesus was alive before His death, the disciples blank at a very human activity, one that they were well acquainted with…fishing.
  13. But this wasn’t just a picture of their limitations in fishing, but really in living a faithful life to God. How could regular humans, do what is required? How could they accomplish more than what Jesus did?
  14. This is our limitation as well.
  15. Romans 3:10-11 (NLT) - “No one is righteous—not even one. 11No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.
  16. No humans naturally seek after God. There is nothing in us that reaches out to God.
  17. Not only that, but even if you could, you could not become righteous.
  18. No matter how gifted or how experienced or how rich, it will not make you right with God.
  19. We are truly limited. It is what makes the New Year such a weird experience for us as human beings.
  20. We have these big dreams of incredible change. We want to be righteous, sleep better, spend less money, less time on our phone, be more generous, less consumeristic, more kind, less angry.
  21. Every year, confronted with our limitations. Jesus doesn’t tell the disciples it’s ok, you can do it guys. He says, did you catch anything? How’s that working for you?
  22. Then watch what happens.
  23. John 21:6 (NLT) - 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.
  24. I’m not sure if Jesus made a deal with the fish to stay on that side of the boat, or if He was doing his aquaman thing of telling them to jump in the net like He did in the past, but one thing is for sure. Jesus…once again…changes everything for His disciples.
  25. Some of you are living outside of your limitations and God is about to blank you like these disciples. In fact, I’ve been praying that God blanks you if you are living in disobedience to Him.
  26. Some of you are only aware of your limitations and are not looking to Christ.
  27. The disciples immediately listened to Christ’s command in the midst of their failure and they benefited…immediately. Will you?

2. Leaves us DUMBFOUNDED. (John 21:7-14; C/R: Hebrews 12:28-29)

  1. John 21:7-14 NLT - 7Then 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. 8The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. 9 When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. 10“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. 12“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. 13Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to His disciples since He had been raised from the dead.
  2. After Jesus provided another miraculous catch, John tells Peter, It’s Jesus.
  3. Peter puts on his outer tunic and leaps into the sea. Why did he do this? People don’t normally put on clothes before swimming.
  4. He didn’t want to talk with Jesus underdressed and passing a greeting during that time certainly meant some physical contact.
  5. He was going to spend time with Jesus and being with Jesus was more important than getting his clothes wet.
  6. Some of us don’t do that. We need to get the perfect situation made up in order to spend time with Jesus. We need to get cleaned up. Our prayer closets need to be just right. But Peter understood that time with Jesus however imperfectly was well worth whatever it took.
  7. Peter gets to shore, and Jesus already has breakfast made, probably miraculously.
  8. Jesus once again shows that He can provide. He did not need them to catch the fish. That was not the point, the point was to remind the disciples, especially Peter, that Christ will continue to provide for their needs even after His resurrection and certainly after His ascension. He did not lose power because of His death.
  9. One piece here not to gloss over. Jesus prepared breakfast by a charcoal fire. This phrase is used only one other time in the NT in this book of John. Anthrakia It is the setting of Peter’s denial. Jesus is setting the stage to discuss Peter’s restoration.
  10. After they pulled all the fish onshore, they sat down for breakfast with Jesus.
  11. The presence of Christ provided blessing. A breakfast prepared by a king.
  12. It is also what they are so confused by. Several translations say none of them dare ask if it was truly Him. Why? Why wouldn’t they ask Jesus if it was Him?
  13. His presence had changed their lives, they felt lost without Him, and now they are confused and disoriented attempting to figure out the metaphysical reality of a resurrected Jesus.
  14. Yet, they knew. They knew He provided the breakfast, they knew all the words He had taught them were true, they knew that the man they saw in front of them was Jesus and yet was different. They knew… but they still didn’t fully understand. But this is a picture of reverent fear and worship of God.
  15. Ill: Worship today
  16. I think it is interesting that those who spent the most time with the Lord, were the ones that were the most astounded. Does this describe you? Has your worship, understanding of God become routine or stale?
  17. How do I know? I think an old resource is helpful. The Heidelberg Catechism, Question 2 says it in this way.
  18. Q. What do you need to know in order to live and die in the joy of this comfort? (the comfort of knowing that I am not my own but belong to God)
  19. A. First, how great my sins and misery are; second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery; 2 third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.
  20. How great your sins, your deliverance, your thankfulness to God for that deliverance. This is what should be the foundation of our worship every time we sing. Every time we open our Bibles, every time we begin to listen to God-honoring preaching.
  21. Hebrews 12:28-29 (NLT) - 28Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. 29For our God is a devouring fire.
  22. Jesus was also showing His disciples that He would still be able to miraculously provide what they needed in order to fulfill the mission that He gave to them.
  23. Is your picture/understanding of Christ and the gospel tame to you? Have you domesticated the astounding nature of Christ and His work on the earth? Has your worship grown stale?
  24. Like the disciples, warm your hearts by the fires of Christ’s provision.

3. DEFINES our purpose. (John 21:15-19; C/R: Matthew 4:19; 16:18)

  1. Then after breakfast, Jesus proceeds to restore one of His disciples.
  2. He had previously given Peter a picture of who he was to become and what he was to do.
  3. Matthew 4:19 (NLT) - Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
  4. Matthew 16:18 (NLT) - Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
  5. Peter was called to be a fisher of men, and he would be used to build the church of Jesus Christ.
  6. Do you think that Peter thought this was still true of himself?
  7. Watch how Jesus restores him.
  8. John 21:15-17 (NLT) - 15After 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.
  9. 16 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.
  10. 17 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.
  11. It is important to note just how much Jesus is willing to invest in fully restoring Peter.
  12. Not only the fire as we mentioned before but also the miracle of catching the fish when He called the disciples to follow Him, providing food for them and also asking Peter the question 3 times. This is the same number of times that Peter denied Jesus.
  13. Notice Jesus doesn’t just say it’s cool, no big deal. He makes Peter confront his sin. He presents Him with the truth.
  14. Jesus’ body was a sacrifice for our sins as well as Peter’s. It is not simply an issue of forgiveness. The penalty for sin had to be paid. Peter’s rejection cost Christ his life. Your rejection of Christ cost Him His life as well.
  15. God does the same with us. He will confront you with your sinfulness compared with His holiness. He does it all throughout Scripture: David, Isaiah and Jeremiah, to just name a few.
  16. John 21:18-19 (NLT) - 18 “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.” 19Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.” Jesus had already given Peter a future taste of his purpose in both his call and after his declaration of Jesus as Messiah.
  17. This is a picture of Peter’s future death. Jesus not only restores Peter fully but gives him a picture of the cost of following Christ.
  18. What would you do in Peter’s situation? Jesus restores you and then tells you that you will be crucified and then asks you to Follow Him. Would you be willing to pay that cost for Christ?
  19. This is the cost we all will pay. Self-denial, the crucifixion of our own flesh every day to live an obedient life to Christ.
  20. For Peter, it was worth it. Christ is worth it. Are you willing to do that?
  21. Ill: Batting Second – His main goal is to move the leadoff man into scoring position and to avoid grounding into double plays.
  22. This year, this moment is an opportunity to get right with Christ. If you are in this room today and you are being confronted with your sin, look to Christ, He is willing to forgive your sin in exchange for His life.
  23. Come and ask for prayer.
  24. How can you move someone forward in their relationship with Christ?
  25. Kids you go back to school, who needs an invitation to church? Who needs the loving presence of a Christ-follower for a friend?
  26. For the rest in this room, I would like to pray a blessing over you. If you could, I’d like to present you with this option right now. I would like to show you the Fruit of the Spirit. Take a moment to pray and ask God which portion of the fruit is your family to grow in this year.
  27. Write it down and cling to that this year.
  28. Galatians 5:22-23a (NLT) - 22But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control.
  29. Let’s pray

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