Easter: The Jesus Way

Part 7: Jesus’ Invitation

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Jesus redeems and restores. For all of us, there are times when we turn from Jesus and live the way of the world. Yet, what we find is not shame but grace. Jesus offers grace to Peter after Peter denies Jesus, and Jesus offers grace to each of us when we fail. As Christ-followers, we must learn to offer grace to others and live our lives for Jesus. Our purpose becomes to know Jesus and to make Him known. He wants us to live our best life, and this comes when we live – the Jesus Way.

God Won’t Give Up On You

As one of Jesus’ disciples, Peter joined the Lord for around three whole years, learning from Him and witnessing His miracles. We’ve journeyed through some of Jesus’ last days during the season of Lent, and yet all those incredible moments were only a fraction of the time Peter was with Jesus. 

Peter showed zeal for Christ before the crucifixion — acknowledging Jesus as Messiah (Matthew 16), promising never to deny Jesus even until death (Matthew 26), and even striking one of Jesus’ capturers (John 18). Despite all the time He spent with Jesus, and despite everything he witnessed, Peter denied Jesus three times on the night He was put on trial by the Sanhedrin. 

Praise be to God — that was not the end of the story for either Jesus or Peter! Jesus rose again on the third day, and He did not give up on the man who had left Him to die on the cross. 

After Peter (formerly called Simon) had acknowledged Jesus was the Messiah, the Lord said to Him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” 

One of the many remarkable things about this statement is the fact that Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him when He made this promise. This wasn’t a poor staffing decision; everything that happened because of Peter’s shortcomings was built into the plan. Perhaps Peter’s lack of faith in that dark moment disappointed Jesus, but it certainly didn’t surprise Him. Our God, from the beginning, chose a man who would cowardly desert Him in selfishness to be the rock upon which His church would be built. 

No matter who you are or what you’ve done our God has not and will not give up on you. If you are willing, and if you repent as Peter did, He will do great things through you. He knows we are not perfect; He desires only our faith in Him. He invites us all into His plan for the Gospel to be spread to all nations, and He invites us into an eternity in heaven with Him forever.

Full Circle Moments

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. — Luke 5:1-2

Jesus first called Peter while he was just a fisherman on the Lake of Gennesaret (also called the Sea of Galilee). Jesus instructed Peter to cast his net on the other side of the boat, and although a professional fisherman like Peter would find this advice far too simple, Peter obeyed. And then, Peter caught so many fish that his nets began to break! 

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” — Luke 5:8

Peter immediately saw the incredible nature of this man called Jesus, and in humility desired to have the Lord move on and find someone better than him. But Jesus called him anyway, and Peter followed. 

Then, after all of Jesus’ earthly ministry had been completed with Peter looking on as His follower, Peter returned to his former job as a simple fisherman. He surely felt ashamed of how he denied Jesus, and likely felt incredibly underqualified for any more work in the name of God. 

But after He rose again, Jesus came back to Peter, right where Peter was: on the Sea of Galilee. 

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. — John 21:4-6

How amazing is this moment? How beautiful? Our God came back for Peter, in the same place and with the same tip for fishing. God’s love for Peter was as strong as ever, and Peter immediately proclaimed, “It is the Lord!” and swam to Him. As Peter began to understand the first time, the purpose of Jesus’ call wasn’t to make him a more talented fisherman. Instead, it was to bring him to repentance and closeness with the God who makes the fish move. 


I Am David // The Power of Repentance // Jeff Simmons

We the Church // Part 1: The Call of Jesus to His Church // Jeff Simmons

RH Worship // New Song // Rise

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