When you get called by your formal name….
Just typing that sent chills of fear through my body because even though you couldn’t hear it, there was my mothers voice in my ear ringing with an angry tone as I typed.
I think that is what the apostle Peter heard in our text today. Jesus used his given name, Simon son of John. Jesus had just miraculously provided a huge catch of fish to Peter and his crew who had fished all night with no luck and no fish.
“15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”’
Jesus used his given name, Simon son of John. There is language here that’s worth looking into if you have the time but what I got this morning was Jesus telling Simon Peter that he would never deny Jesus again.
He had denied Jesus. He denied him 3 times. The last denial was vehemently and with cursing.
On this day, through the catch of fish Jesus provided for this ex-fisherman, he gave him his mission, feeding the sheep Jesus would provide for him and he told him that Peter would die a horrible death rather than deny Jesus again.
It’s a good thing to hear that Jesus doesn’t hold grudges. Even open denial can be forgiven.
Thank you Jesus for forgiving that Peter and for forgiving this Peter all of our sins.