Three times Peter denied Jesus on the night he was arrested. Three times the resurrected Jesus, by the Sea of Galilee, asks Peter if he loves him. Three times Peter is able to affirm that he does. Three times Jesus reinstates Peter and calls him to take care of his disciples.
It’s a powerful moment where we get a glimpse of the heart and character of Jesus. It answers the question of how he responds to our moments of failure and shame. Is he content to leave us in such moments, forever being defined by the past? Or does he offer us forgiveness and restoration? This scene reveals that he does the latter. In a dramatic and public moment, he is making sure that Peter and those gathered understand that he will not define Peter exclusively by his past. Not only this, but he invites Peter into an extraordinary life with Jesus.
Maybe you need to hear this conversation? Maybe you have felt that you have failed too many times, you are marked by a moment of shame, and you need to hear what Jesus is saying?
No matter what, he is saying I’ll restore you if you’ll let me. I have plans for you that I want to trust you with if you’ll let me.