Then he said to him, “Follow me!” John 21:19
Daily Devotional Series
Grace & Truth Day 21
Reading: John 21
In the beginning of his book, John says that Jesus is full of Grace and Truth. This chapter we really get to see it in its fullness. Peter was broken. Not only had he betrayed Jesus, but he had puffed himself up as the best disciple. Constantly comparing himself to the others, he said and did things that brought attention to himself. He was always went over the top to impress Jesus. Then he failed miserably. When he saw Jesus standing on the shore he did a typical Peter move. He jumped in the water with all of his clothes on and swam to shore trying to get to him first.
Can you imagine the scene? Peter, huffing and puffing, shuffling his feet, hoping that Jesus would just let everything pass over and never speak of it? But here comes the Truth. Jesus asks, “Do you love me more than the others?” Peter can’t say, “Yes.” He had failed. Jesus switches it up, leaves out the others, and says, “Do you love me like I love you (agape love)?” Days before Peter wouldn’t have hesitated and said “Yes” but Peter says, “I love you (phileo, brotherly love.” This time Jesus asks, “Do you love me (phileo)?” The truth was tearing Peter down. It was cutting him to his core. He is in distressed and says, “You know everything! You know I love you (phileo)!
That’s all Jesus wanted. He never wanted the puffed up, fake-it-till-you-make-it Peter. He just wanted Peter. Peter with all of his flaws and failures BUT made whole and new by Jesus. THAT is the Peter he calls again to “follow him” and to be in the forefront of the soon to be exploding church.
Before reading John, you may have thought you were pretty great, especially in comparison to others. Then you read about Jesus’ suffering and death FOR YOU. All of a sudden you are not all that you are cracked up to be. You may try to ignore it. But if you let the light of God and his truth in, you can feel pretty ugly. You may feel unusable. You have to come face to face with disappointment. You may feel broken. That’s okay. That’s TRUTH. God does not desire the fake you but the real you. Forgiven. Free. That’s GRACE. Peter was transformed by the Grace and Truth of Jesus. He can do the same for you.
If you read John in a New Testament given to you, start looking for someone to give it to. Give it to someone you know is failing at the whole fake-it-till-you-make-it game. GIve it to someone who needs Grace.