“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
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.”
John 21:15–17 NIV
Peter disowned Christ three times before the crucifixion. What a total failure he must have felt. Peter ‘the rock’ became … well a bit like all of us.
It would have been understandable for Jesus to have chosen another to lead the early Church. But he stuck to his plan. Peter was given the opportunity to restate his allegiance (three times) and he gets to experience God’s mercy and grace in an extraordinary way. Perhaps it was this experience that Peter needed to have to make him suitable for ministry and leadership… God only knows.
God uses broken people. His plans are not necessarily thwarted when we mess up.
As couples we are called to reflect God’s image. How do you reflect grace and mercy? What can you do to encourage your partner when they reflect grace and mercy to you?
Prayer (as a couple)
Consider your personal experience of God’s mercy and grace and then pray.
Dear Lord, like Peter I have experienced your mercy and grace in an extraordinary way. Help me to reflect mercy and grace to _____ (partner) and all those around me. I can’t do this alone Lord so fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit. Thank you for _____’s grace and mercy bestowed upon me. Amen.
Prayer (for others)
Dear Lord we pray for _____ and _____ and for other couples in our community. May you give them a new understanding of your mercy and grace and may they grow in the way they reflect mercy and grace to each other and to those around. Amen
Mercy and Grace defined
Mercy is not giving somebody what they do deserve. Grace is giving somebody what they don’t deserve.