Have you ever had a good opportunity only to blow it? I have. I remember coming out of a job interview thinking, “I blew that one!” And, yes, I didn’t get the job. Going over it in my head, I should have answered a question differently. Well, you can drive yourself crazy with the “woulda, coulda, shouldas”. Before we look at the last chapter of the Gospel of John, let’s review Peter’s life since he met Jesus and then, how he “blew it”.
Peter and Jesus
Peter, the Humble Fisherman
Andrew, Peter’s brother, first saw Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist and he ran to tell his brother, that he found the Messiah. Jesus had been preaching in the area and word of his miracles, like turning water into wine, had spread.
In Luke 5, we learn that Peter, Andrew and his partners, John and James (the sons of Zebedee), had fished all night long and caught nothing. These were professional fishermen. This was their livelihood. During this particular season, the best fishing was late at night and in shallow waters.
That morning, Jesus, who borrowed Peter’s boat to preach to the people on the shore, told him to go out into the deep water and fish. It was totally against everything he knew about fishing. Peter’s reaction was, “If you say so, we’ll go.” He trusted Jesus.
They caught so many fish, that the boat almost sank! Peter’s reaction was humility.
8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.”Luke 5:8 NLT
Then Jesus recruits him, Andrew, James and John to become “fishers of men/people”. They dropped their nets and followed Jesus.
During the Transfiguration — when Jesus miraculously shines and Moses and Elijah come to speak with him — impetuous Peter gets excited…
33 As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials (tabernacles)—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”Luke 9:33 NLT
When Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah (the Christ), the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”Matthew 16:16-19 NLT
Now, this doesn’t mean what the Roman Catholic early church leaders twisted it to mean. I cover that here.
When Jesus started washing the disciples feet before the Last Supper, Peter, didn’t get it….
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”John 13:8-9 NLT
Jesus tells them that He’ll only be with them a little while longer, to which Peter replies…
“I’m ready to die for you.”John 13:37 NLT
Then, Jesus tells Peter that he will deny knowing Him 3 times before the rooster crows.
Peter, the Betrayer
Later, after Jesus is arrested and taken to the house of the high priest, Peter denies him 3 times and the rooster crowed. I bet for the rest of his life, every time Peter heard a rooster crowed, he remembered what he did to Jesus.
Peter is Restored
In the final chapter of John, Peter gets a second chance. Let’s dig in…
Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. 2 Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
7 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. 8 The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. 9 When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.
10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved (John)—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”
22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” 23 So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.
25 Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.John 21 NLT
The Re-Calling of Peter
Peter’s had a roller coaster ride of emotions: humility, impetuousness, blessed, clueless, prideful, and so scared that he denies even knowing Jesus.
Now, after Jesus is crucified, Peter wants to go back to work. He wants to return to the life he was comfortable in — fishing. He feels, defeated, lost, hopeless, and disqualified.
Jesus here re-calls him to ministry. “Feed my sheep,” and “Follow me” He tells him — again.
What About John?
Peter wanted to know what would happen to John. Jesus basically said, “That’s my business.”
John goes on to write 3 letters and the Book of Revelation which depicts Jesus’ return and victory over Satan.
Once Peter receives the Holy Spirit as depicted in Acts 2, he becomes bold, courageous and brave and helps spread the Good News about the salvation of Jesus and start the Christian church. Read all about it in the Study on the Book of Acts.
What About you?
What resonates with you in Peter’s story? Have you “blown it”? Do you think you sinned so bad, that you could never earn redemption? That’s just it. You don’t have to EARN anything! Jesus sacrificed His life for you so you don’t have to! He died taking your past, present and future sins with Him. All you have to do is BELIEVE!
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…