Feed My Sheep!

You have really blown it with God. A huge sin, or a collection of smaller ones, have interfered with your relationship with God. You have confessed, you know that you are forgiven, but can you still be useful in God’s kingdom? Look at Peter in John 21:15-19.

Peter had already been forgiven. His offense, of course, had been the triple denial of his Lord, John 18:15-18, 25-27. This had followed his boast that he would never deny his Lord, John 13:37 (Mark 14:29). By the time of the picnic breakfast on the lake, Jesus had already appeared to Peter, Luke 24:33,34; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5. Likely the meeting included Peter’s confession of his sin and the Lord granting forgiveness. Forgiveness is Continue reading “Feed My Sheep!”

A Picnic on the Beach with Jesus

Jesus has only 40 days between his resurrection and the day he leaves his disciples by ascending into heaven. Why does he take time for a picnic on the beach with his disciples, as John 21:1-14 tells us?

You need to have Jesus reveal himself. The disciples had seen the Lord in Jerusalem, John 20. Now they have returned to their native Galilee, and are waiting–for what they seem to be not quite sure. It is in this time of uncertainty that Peter suggests fishing and the others agree. The night’s labors are in vain, when Jesus stands on the shore. John does not detail his arrival, he is simply there.

Jesus manifested himself, revealed himself, to the disciples. “Appeared” is a weak translation. John 1:31 referred to Jesus being revealed to Israel. Now he is being revealed Continue reading “A Picnic on the Beach with Jesus”

The Confession of a Skeptic

Do you ever wonder if the Bible is really true, if God is real, if Jesus is really alive? You’re not in bad company! This part of John’s Gospel is addressed to Thomas and to you. In John 20:24-31 the skeptic makes a profoundly true confession.

 Stop doubting! Thomas doubted. John has recorded Peter and John’s dash to the tomb, and John’s faith as he found the tomb empty with the grave clothes lying there. We have seen Mary Magdalene’s tears, and heard the Lord address her by name and assure her of his resurrection. That same resurrection evening Jesus appeared to the disciples (likely a group larger than the 11).

Notice how clear Jesus makes the fact of his resurrection, how he meets people in their need. Though he hasn’t appeared to you in person, he has given you the complete revelation of himself in Continue reading “The Confession of a Skeptic”

The Peace of the Risen Lord

Were you in the Middle East today, Salaam or Shalom is likely a word you would hear in greeting. In either language, it is the word for “peace.” Often it is used without any more thought of its meaning than English speakers who say, “Goodbye,” not realizing that the origins are, God be with you.” But when Jesus says “Peace be with you!” as he greets his disciples (John 20:19-23), he means exactly what he says. He is speaking, not just to those in the room, but to you as well.

This message of peace comes from the risen Lord. The disciples (likely more than just the 12) are in a room, locked for security against those who had put their Lord to death. Suddenly Jesus appears among them. We don’t know just what his resurrection body was like, nor exactly how ours will resemble his, but, suddenly, he is there. They may well have been pondering the reports from Mary Magdalene and the other women who had seen him, but suddenly he stands among them.

Jesus greets his disciples with “Peace be with you.” That was the common, expected greeting of the day–but it is not just Continue reading “The Peace of the Risen Lord”