This preview of Mornings with Jesus 2018 focuses on Jesus' acceptance, love and instantaneous forgiveness.
- Posted on Jan 16, 2018
Jesus said to Simon Peter... “do you love me more than these?” ... John 21:15 (NIV)
Cower: To crouch down in fear or shame. Dictionaries also list these synonyms: cringe, shrink, recoil, flinch, pull back...
You might wonder what had me looking up behind-the-scenes details about a word like cower. Not what. Who. Peter. In my Bible, a section header within John chapter 18 says simply, “Peter denies Jesus again.” In my mind, the emphasis on the word again is as heavy as a cruise ship’s anchor.
His action and what happens after the fact say more about Jesus than about Peter. The man recoiled from the scene when Jesus was arrested. He pulled back and snuck away to warm himself at the enemy’s fire. We would expect him to also cower when he saw Jesus face-to-face after His resurrection.
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Jesus had been right about everything. He’d been faithful. And Peter had both cowered and been a coward through it all. But the forgiveness in the heart of Jesus completely overwhelmed the after-resurrection scenes. If I had been in Peter’s shoes, I would have expected Jesus’ wrath. I would have cowered in the presence of the One I had betrayed. But Jesus’ approach was love, acceptance, and instantaneous forgiveness. And then He went beyond all that.
Jesus walked with Peter along the shore after cooking breakfast for His betrayer (John 21:15–17). He spoke gently to Peter, and gave him three chances to express his love for Jesus. Cowering shame and regret were seared into oblivion in the light of that kind of love.
Faith Step: The next time you visit a beach, collect a small vial of sand or take a picture that you keep near as a reminder of the way Jesus walked with Peter.