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Bible stories of hope: Peter - by James Archer



Bible stories of hope is a series comprising a reading about someone's encounter with God, some notes about how they may have seen it, and a prayer.  

Reading – John 21:15-19

When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”


He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”


Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”


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.”


A third time he said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”


Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”  Peter said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”


He said to him, “Feed my sheep…..” Then Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me!”



Peter had lost the plot.  Three times he had abandoned Jesus when he needed him.  He was gutted by shame and guilt.


And then Jesus had come back to life. Amazing!  Fantastic!  But ……. It almost made matters worse.  He couldn’t undo what he’d done, and Jesus would never be able to trust him again.  Things could never be the same again. 


Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem.  But Peter couldn’t wait.  At least there was something he was good at.  He went home to Galilee, put his boat back in the water after three years, and went fishing.


Where were all the fish tonight?  They were laughing at him – he couldn’t even catch enough for breakfast.  It had never happened before.  Well, once – the time he’d first met Jesus.


As he approached the shore, a stranger asked to buy some fish.  Typical.  He couldn’t even fail without being found out.  “Try the other side of the boat”, the stranger said.  Peter turned languidly, and as he did a shimmer of fish caught his eye.  Quick as a flash, the nets were out.


“It’s the Lord,” said John.  What?!!  Peter looked again, saw he was right, and dived in.  Jesus had come to find him.


Three times, he asked him the same question.  The third time was too much – he broke down in tears.  Jesus knew exactly what he had done – and still he had come searching for him.  The guilty secret was out, and he was restored.


“Follow me!”



Lord Jesus, give me like Simon Peter the urgency to spend time with you and the love to follow you all of the days of my life.  Amen

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