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Peter's Restoration
The 2019 London Christian Prayer Breakfast
“An unseen Hope made the Red Sea Road where there is no other way”
Getting Connected on the Opioid Crisis – A Free In-Studio and Livestream Event
London Area Right to Life Newly Elected President - Jeffrey Belanger
A Sense of Place
Chaplain Rejoices as Flood Victim Accepts Jesus Christ
Videos of the 2019 Prayers for London
BookMark - Don’t Give Up: Faith That Gives You the Confidence to Keep Believing and the Courage to Keep Going (BOOK REVIEW)
Experience Another World Without Leaving Yours

By Mike Toth

18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go." 19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me!" 20 Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, "Lord, and what about this man?" 22 Jesus *said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" (John 21:18-22, New American Standard Bible)

In my early faith I took a spiritual gifts test and it came out that I was most like Peter, and would be gifted most like him. Admittedly it was more of a personality test than in-depth revelation, but I was pleased, as I admired Peter. I also knew I would never be as courageous as he was.

This passage in John 21 is actually the end point of a succession of events that are first chronicled in Luke 22. It begins with the prophesy of Peter’s being sifted like wheat and his denial of Christ, moves to the actual denial, and his eventual restoration. In order to understand what is going on we have to understand a little bit about Peter.

Peter was nothing if not zealous and courageous in his faith. Peter gave up his profession to walk with Jesus. Peter is the only apostle to get out of the boat. In Matthew 16 Peter is called "blessed" because his confession of Christ came from God and not from any man, and Jesus called him the rock upon which he would build the church.

Yet, also in Matthew 16 Peter was called "Satan" by Jesus. He put Jesus on the level of mere mortal men after he confessed Jesus as the Son of God (Mt 17, Elijah and Moses). Peter also slept through Jesus’ night in Gethsemane with the rest of the apostles though they had been admonished to stay awake.

This "double-mindedness" as it is often termed in the church is what Jesus was getting at throughout this sequence of events. What Jesus was after is actually more sinister than "double-mindedness."

At it’s best, Peter was picking and choosing how and when he would actually follow Jesus, although Peter was walking with Jesus. At it's worst, Peter wasn’t actually following Jesus but was following his own form of the faith.

Jesus is telling Peter that it doesn't matter what happens with any other follower of Christ, as Peter is to follow Jesus alone. Jesus is getting at that streak of self-determination that made Peter such a strong man, but needed to be brought into subjection to Christ. What we are being taught through this series of events is that whatever comes we follow Him. If church leaders or friends fall away, we follow Him. If we are called to things that are unpleasant, or impossible for us to accomplish, we follow Him. If others are called to “greater” things than we are, we follow Him.

In fact, in this context following Him is the "greater" thing. Jesus is not looking for Peter to do great things for Him (as Peter wanted to do), He is simply looking for Peter to follow. Are you willing to follow Jesus as Peter was called to, or are you still choosing when and if you will follow Him?