What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus restored Peter to ministry by forgiving him and giving him a second chance to serve.
- We can affirm people in ministry by encouraging them to serve according to their gifts.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Jesus did not compare Peter and the other disciple; each disciple has a unique destiny in God’s economy. (20-22)
- We have to have realistic expectations with disciples, meeting them where they are instead of where we wish they were. (15-19)
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning Disciple-makers.
First of all, for those of you who have journeyed with me for all or most of this 90 Day Challenge – Congratulations! I hope you have found this exercise helpful in your walk with Jesus. We plan to continue the discipline in the Book of Acts, so “stay tuned!”
A few thoughts from this great closing chapter.
Peter’s restoration is unique to John’s gospel, another reason perhaps that John felt compelled to “round out” the gospel story. And this chapter, like John 4 (the Woman at the Well) is a wonderful image of disciple-making.
-Jesus meets them on their “turf.” Some of our disciple-making will have to occur beyond our religious boundaries.
-He allows them to identify their own lack. (“Haven’t you any fish?”) Helping people state what is lacking in their own life lays the groundwork for them to be open to what more Jesus might be able to do for them.
-He coaches them on a different way of living. (Throw your net on the right side.) Sometimes, when our friends express frustration at the way life is working out for them, they are open to suggestions about a better way to live.
-He invites them to contribute to what he wants to do. (Bring some of the fish you just caught.) Some folks need to be convinced that God can actually use their gifts and contributions in a meaningful way.
-He feeds them. Ultimately, it is what Jesus does with what we offer that makes a difference.
If each of us were to take this as a primer for our own discipleship and disciple-making…it could provide a powerful model for Christ’s work in and through us.
I’ll leave it to others to comment on Jesus’ gracious invitation to Peter (who thrice denied him) to be restored to himself, thrice.