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LOVEST THOU ME MORE THAN…

LIFE SKETCH OF PETER STUMBLING THROUGH FAILURE TO A DEEPER FAITH


SCRIPTURE READING

 John 21:15-17
 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to
Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My
lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,
do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love
You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third
time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved
because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said
to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus
said to him, “Feed My sheep.
HYMNS

 456 My LORD and I


 236 I love Thee
 458 More love to Thee
INTRODUCTION

 Just recently Christians around the world celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead a supernatural
event which truly established Jesus as the Son of God and the Saviour of Mankind.
 Amidst the various days declared as Holy days or holidays, the penance and self denial or fasting of lent, the focus
on religious forms, customs, rituals such as Ash Wednesday sadly for many proclaimed Christians is the only time
of year next to Christmas that they are involved in anything remotely religious.
 The question begs asking what is a Christian and what distinguishes Christianity from other religions.
 What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?
 What is it that characterises a follower of Christ?
 What does love have to do with it?
 How do we know what true love is and how do we know we posses it?
 What does it take to truly love?
 A few sketches in the life of Peter that provide answers.
LIFE SKETCH OF PETER, ENCOUNTERS
WITH JESUS
 Simon Peter’s first encounter with Jesus is recorded in the Gospel of John 1:40–42.
 Here we find Simon Peter’s the first Christian convert brought by his brother Andrew’s evangelistic effort, simply
saying we have found the Messiah.
 Jesus looked at Simon Peter, gazed at him, looked into this being who He had nit together and said to him “You
are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
 Peter recognised Jesus as the Messiah and had associated himself intermittently with Jesus in His ministry whilst
continuing making a living as a fisherman at the sea of Galilee .
 It is only two years later that we find Christ calling him to permanent discipleship in a truly miraculous way. Read
Luke 5:1-11
 Jesus preaches from his boat, tells him to launch out to sea to catch fish after they had been fishing all night
and caught nothing, is obedient nonetheless, Jesus performs a miracle beyond Peters wildest expectation,
Peter encounters Jesus as LORD and exclaims:
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
 An encounter with God brings us face to face with our own sinfulness and unworthiness.
LIFE SKETCH OF PETER, FISHERMAN TO
FISHER OF MEN
 Jesus reels in the catch. Jesus the Master fisherman was catching fishermen to make them fishers of men.
 The miracle he performed was the net that had caught their attention and their complete acknowledgement that Jesus is
LORD and that they were in the presence of God.
 Peter the captain of the fishing enterprise allowed Jesus the Captain of the Heavenly Hosts aboard to teach not knowing that
his fishing career by the sea of Galilee was drawing to an end.
 They had worked hard all night and through their own efforts had caught nothing but through cooperation with Jesus out of
love for Him, in simple obedience “Master nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net” said Peter, they caught more
fish than they had ever seen.
 Peter could no longer doubt that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, the Christ and couldn’t help but exclaim “Depart from me,
for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” at Peter’s realisation of his sinfulness in the presence of Christ’s Righteousness he realised his
true need.
 Immediately Christ puts them into action. Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. Their enlistment in the service of
Christ is as a direct result of Jesus’s love for them and not an earning of that love.
 At the most successful time of their careers as fishermen they forsook all and followed Him.
 Without seeing our own sinfulness and need of His righteousness we cannot be followers of Christ, true Christians.
LIFE SKETCH OF PETER, KEEPING FOCUS
ON THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER
 In another encounter with Jesus by the sea of Galilee we find Peter, true to his character experiencing
vastly contrasting moments of faith and doubt.
 Once again we find Jesus pressed by the multitude having to climb on Peter’s boat to teach from. After
which they cross over the lake to the other side and in Mark 4:35 onwards we read of how a storm arose
while Jesus was asleep on a pillow.
 In a desperate plea for help they exclaim, Master do you not care that we perish, forgetting that it was the
master of oceans, of earth and of skies they were calling on.
 However it is in Matt 14:22-33 after feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish about this time
of the year in AD 30 that we find the disciples once again in the stormy Galilee sea. However this time
without Jesus.
 Peter stepped out of the boat in faith and his faith upheld and with his eyes fixed on Jesus walked on water.
But as he became awhere of what he was doing and turned to see his fellowmen’s reaction he lost sight of
Jesus and started sinking. He saw the wind and the waves around him and plummeted to dispair.
 Keeping our focus on Jesus is the only way we can trust that He is faithful to complete the good work He
has started in us.
LIFE SKETCH OF PETER, CONFIDENCE TO
HUMILIATION
 The evening before His crucifiction Jesus again has an encounter with Peter that would teach this disciple and every future
follower of Christ what true religious service is.
 Jesus washes His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), showing them true humility and what it means to be a servant of Christ. Peter
denying Christ the opportunity to wash his feet.
 Interlude between identifying Judas as betrayer and predicting the denial by Peter: Jesus gives the ‘new commandment’
John 13:34 & 35, previously love you neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18), Jesus now says love one another as I have loved
you, as I have demonstrated in the flesh by giving my life for you, love each other and the rest of mankind.
 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we
might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” 1 John 4:9 -11
 Jesus not only expressed His love for us but demonstrated it by giving His life for you and me.
 Confident Peter missing the lesson on humility Jesus had just demonstrated exclaims that he would lay down his life for Jesus.
 Jesus then predicts Peter’s denial John 13:36-38, what does Peter do? He denies it, not off to a great start.
 When put to the test Peters proclaimed love in being willing to lay down his life for Jesus. Peter failed John 18:15-18, 25-27,
Matt 26:69 – 75 remembering the words of the Saviour he left weeping bitterly.
 Love for Jesus means we have confidence in Him not in what we think we can do and are not ashamed of Him. We follow His
example in demonstrating love.
LIFE SKETCH OF PETER, LOVEST THOU ME
MORE THAN THESE…
 Sadly after denial of Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed was the last of what we see of Peter until after Jesus’s resurrection on the 1st day
of the week upon the announcement by Mary Magadlene. Jesus then appears to His disciples in Jerusalem but we have no record o f
interaction between Peter and Jesus. All this time still carrying the guilt and shame of denying the Saviour.
 However once more we find Peter and his fellow disciples on the sea of Galilee. Gone out to replenish their funds and doing what they knew
best. We read in John 21:1-6 the scenario all too familiar to be coincidence and just as Peter was reminded of all His encounters by this very
sea with Jesus, John confirms that Jesus is on the shore.
 True to his character Peter immediately makes his way to Jesus, the One who had been so faithful to him despite his own unfa ithfulness.
 John 21:15 – So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
 What or who was Jesus referring to as these? Commonly interpreted as Peter’s fellow disciples. What was Jesus really asking Peter? Odd for
Jesus to ask does Peter if he loves Him more than what he loves his fellow disciples because the answer is quite simple yes.
 Another interpretation of these is the fish, your livelihood, your ability to provide for yourself, your independence, your skills… do you love Me more
than these. Your plans for the future, your aspirations.
 Pride, selfishness and personal ambition were Peter’s weaknesses and Jesus asked him if he love God more than these?
 What is Jesus asking us today? Do you love me more than the opinion of others, status, world fame or possesions, do you love me more
than life itself?
LIFE SKETCH OF PETER, LOVEST THOU ME
MORE THAN THESE…PETER RESTORED TO
ACTION
 John 21:17 – 19
 Peter is restored, three times he confesses his love for Jesus. (three times denied)
 Feed my lambs – lambs new in faith
 Tend my sheep – sheep all believers
 Feed my sheep – entire fellowship of believers
 A follower of Christ means a love relationship with God and with all of God’s children.
 True to his word Peter did lay down his life for the Lord and when he was crucified in AD 35
requested to be hung upside as he didn’t consider himself worthy to die the same death as
Christ.
 Actions indeed speak louder than words and this is what Jesus was saying to Peter, let your love
for Me be seen in your life!