Sermon of the Week, 4/21/13
- SERMON OF THE WEEK
April 21, 2013
Next Sunday is the 3rd Sunday after Easter. Gospel reading is from
Topic: Jesus Reinstates Saint Peter.
Gospel Reading: (John 21:15-19)
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
"Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly 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 I tell you the truth, 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."
19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which
Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
After the big catch of fish at Lake Tiberius, the disciples had a
meal with Jesus. After the meal, Jesus turns to Peter. In the presence
of all other disciples, Jesus confronts Peter. Peter was full of doubts
concerning where he stood with Jesus. He probably thought Jesus would
ridicule him. But Jesus had only compassion for him. Jesus was trying
to remove Peter's guilt.
Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these others?" This
may have reference to Peter's earlier pledge that if everybody fled, he
would never flee. Peter responded by saying, "Yes, Lord, you know that I
love you." Peter had denied Jesus three times during Jesus' journey to
crucifixion. Jesus was asking Peter if he was still willing to make the claim
that if everybody fled, he would never flee. He had learned humility and
realized that he was not strong as he thought he was. Peter thought that
he would never do what he did, like we pledge on many occasions to ourselves
that we would not commit the type of sins that others commit. David never
thought he would commit adultery. Solomon never thought he would be caught
for idol worshipping. Peter never thought he would deny Jesus. Peter
learned from his experience that he wasn't as strong as he thought because
of the mistakes he made in life. Peter was humbled before Jesus and
became honest about it.
When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, Peter responded in an honest
fashion. He realized that his actions did not match the degree of his
devotion to Jesus. He was honest and told the truth. He said, "Lord,
you know that I love you."
Whatever our past may be, like Peter, Jesus stands to forgive, and
also restore us. Jesus can turn our failures into victory. Jesus can give
us another chance to turn things around as he gave to Peter. Many of
us fail in our relationships with others. We fail in dealing with our family
members and friends appropriately. We fail emotionally. We cannot control
our anger and emotions. We blame others more than us for our failures in
life. We fail in taking care of our health. We fail in trying to overcome
those old habits of ours. Whatever kind of failures may be, no matter how
deep they may be, regardless of how many times we have experienced it,
Jesus Christ is there to help us to turn those failures into victory for us.
Like Peter, victory could be ours if we give ourselves to Jesus Christ.
Rev. Dr. V. Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil