We all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and fall short of the glory of God. Having said that, imagine if everyone who had ever sinned just gave up on their relationship with Jesus. Heaven, and the mission field would be empty. To demonstrate how much God can use us even after we have sinned, we don’t have to look any further than the Disciple of Jesus, our beloved Peter.
John 15-19: 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!”
Peter had denied Jesus and cried like crazy when he realized what he had done (Matt 26:75). Sad, sick, and hurting Peter could have separated himself from the other disciples, or he could have killed himself like Judas did. But somehow he swallowed his pride and returned to his fellow disciples, meeting with them behind closed doors and fishing with them that early morning when Jesus appeared to them on the shore.
Jesus had special words for Peter, because Peter had a special need to be healed and restored from his sin. We know that Peter’s heart had been broken because of his sinful nature. He had denied his friend and Savior. Three times. Peter had denied knowing Jesus, and three times Jesus asked him, :do you love me?” Jesus forgave Peter and restored him to the ministry. The three charges “Feed my lambs…Tend my sheep…Feed my sheep” showed the ministry Peter would have in helping the believers who would join them. Clearly Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost and the thousands of believers that would join the Church gave Peter a lot of sheep to tend and to feed with the word of God.
Peter’s sin of denying Jesus three times, and the forgiveness of that sin shows us that no matter how deep the stain of our sin, Christ will forgive us and heal us. He will also restore us to our service to Him. Now the question becomes, Will you walk away or get back up and fight after a sin?