Session 21

You can come back from that

From John: A 21-Day Devotional


John 21

Jesus appears one more time to His disciples while they are fishing. Jesus reassures Peter and encourages His disciples to always follow His example.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This phrase may have haunted you before a job interview or first date. Sometimes our first impression of someone leads to false assumptions. Sometimes, we struggle to give someone a second chance when their sin disappoints us. The pressure is high in our society to make a great first impression. If we succeed, we tend to keep our guard up. We assume that if people knew our secrets, they wouldn’t want to be around us anymore. 

Peter betrayed Jesus after promising he never would. Even after seeing Jesus alive again, Peter heads back out to sea to return to what he was doing before Jesus called him. Peter must have felt an overwhelming sense of shame and loss as he loaded the boat to fish that day. He had blown it. He might as well go back to his old job because God definitely couldn’t use a traitor like him to spread the great news that Jesus had died for our sins and was alive again.

Psalm 103:10 says, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” The very thing Peter feared was proven a lie by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Thank God He didn’t leave Peter alone. He forgave him and sent him on a mission to preach His word. What a beautiful description of love as Jesus returns to the circumstance where He first called Peter and gives him a second chance.

“If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:22).

We are not useless to God when we mess up. When God forgives our sin and uses us despite it, our life is a witness to Jesus’ love and power.

• What can you learn about Jesus from this chapter?
• Have you committed a sin you feel has made you useless to God? Are you willing to risk people’s opinion of you to find help when you need it?
• Are there people in your life you have yet to forgive?

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