Last week, we looked at the importance of the resurrection and how we should bow the knee to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This week, we look at how we are taught about restoration and growth.
We know that the disciples lives had changed – DRAMATICALLY…They had given up everything they had known to follow Jesus. They had given up their lives, their families, their careers, everything to follow. Then, he died.
Yes, He arose – but where does that leave them? They have given their lives to follow…and fled…What do they do now? Well, we see in John 21 they went fishing. They went fishing and didn’t catch anything at all…nothing…nada…zip…zilch. They didn’t catch anything until Jesus, standing on the shore, tells them to cast their nets on the other side. This had to be a familiar thought to Peter (like when he was called to follow). Peter swims to the shore. The others follow as they collect the fish and bring them in for breakfast.
Up until the time of the crucifixion, the disciples had depended on Jesus to be there physically. They had looked to Him and could ask Him questions. Jesus needed to get them ready to serve and obey without Him physically being there, but with the help of the Holy Spirit. They needed to grow.
How did He help Peter to grow (and how does He help us for that matter?)
Jesus helped Peter to grow by pursuing him – He waited for Peter at the shore. He wanted to see Peter succeed. He loved Peter and knew what He could become. Jesus loved Peter way more than Peter could ever love Him. He does the same for us – He loves us and wants us to grow and to commit ourselves to Him. He wants to see us succeed.
Jesus knew what Peter was capable of and He knew that Peter would grow in different ways than the rest. Jesus knows that all of us grow differently. Our growth is individual. We may use the same methods and disciplines to know Him better, but He helps us to grow in different ways. He made us all special. We shouldn’t compare how we serve to others. We should seek what He has for us!
Peter probably grew the most in the time from his denial of Jesus until the time on the shore that morning. We grow from our failures. We mess up. Jesus helps us up. He restores us – and we grow.
Finally, we grow when we are absolutely devoted to Him! We can’t be half hearted in our devotion – but we must become fully devoted to Him. We grow when we give ourselves completely and totally to Him!!
How about you? Are you growing or not? Are you serving as He calls or not? Are you becoming more like Jesus? Think about how much Peter grew in order to become the servant of God he became. The Lord wants you to grow to be His servant too!!
*outline/ideas from “Follow Me” by Jason Hayes