Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Peace be with you pt 4

Peace be with you pt 4

Peace with Ourselves
Perhaps an Easter story with Peter can give us a glimpse into the kind of peace Jesus wants to give us (John 21:15-19). On Holy Thursday, Peter, the “Rock” had denied even knowing the Lord. Now, here he was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, perhaps alone with Jesus for the first time since the resurrection. All kinds of thoughts were probably swirling in his mind—and none of them positive. “How could Jesus ever trust me again? Look at how I failed him.”

But Jesus cut through Peter’s guilt and shame by asking one simple question: “Do you love me?” (John 21:15). He asked the question three times, in fact, leading Peter to admit, “You know that I love you” (21:17).

Jesus didn’t need to hear Peter say, “I love you” three times. Rather, Peter needed to say it over and over. He needed to see that despite his act of cowardice and denial, he honestly did love Jesus. And that was enough for the Lord. Peter didn’t have to perform arduous acts of atonement to set himself straight, and neither do we. He didn’t need to remain locked in guilt, and neither do we. All he needed was to rediscover his love for Jesus, and so do we. When Peter learned this, he was finally at peace with himself. No longer bound up in guilt or anger over his failure, he was free to serve as Jesus had called him to.

None of us will be perfect disciples. There may be days in a row when we disappoint Jesus or someone close to us. But we are so much more than the sum of our mistakes and failings. We are more than the sum of our successes and breakthroughs. We are beloved of God, chosen and destined for heaven. Jesus isn’t interested in reviewing all of our past sins. He isn’t interested in questioning all of our current motivations. All he wants to do is point us to the love that we already have for him, and we’ll find our way to peace in our hearts. And the more peaceful we are, the easier it will be to follow Jesus and fulfill his calling for us.

to be continued...

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