Tuesday, 19 January 2021
Title: Second Chance
By: Pastor Isaac Yim
I believe many of us are like Peter, who failed to stand by Jesus during times of critical crisis in our lives. It is a terrible feeling to betray Jesus. Peter, one of the faithful and loyal followers of Jesus, had followed Him with great conviction and confidence. He once said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” and “You are the Christ.” At the last supper, Jesus made a shocking prediction that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. On hearing this prediction, Peter reaffirmed his loyalty to Jesus, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” That same night Jesus was arrested and all the disciples then deserted Jesus. But Peter followed Jesus at a distance. Peter was identified by a servant girl. He denied Jesus three times in order to save himself. He denied Jesus as his Lord and master three times. Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying – I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” (Mark 14:71). At that moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly (Luke 22:61-62).
Sorrow is not always a bad thing. Godly sorrow causes us to repent and change our ways. To repent means to change our mind about something. Godly sorrow leads us away from sin and results in salvation; but worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death (2 Cor. 7:8-10).
Jesus visited with Peter and a few other disciples and initiated the healing and restoration process after His glorious resurrection. These disciples had left and returned to fishing on the Sea of Galilee. They toiled the whole night and had caught nothing. Jesus then shouted from the shore to these fishermen, “Throw your net on the right side.” John recognized the voice of Jesus. He cried out, “It’s the Lord!” With great joy Peter leaped into the water to meet Jesus.
Jesus did not condemn these tired and discouraged disciples. He called them friends or children. The miraculous catch helped the disciples to rekindle their faith in Jesus. He even prepared breakfast for them. Despite their failings and shortcomings, Jesus still loved them unconditionally.
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.” (John 21:15).
“These” refers to the fish or anything else that Peter cherished dearly. It can also be other things such as success, dream, achievement. Jesus wanted Peter to love Him above everything else. God wants us to love Him above everything else. Peter responded to the Lord Jesus,” You know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” We thank Jesus for His sacrificial and unconditional love for us. In repentance and restoration, Jesus wants us to love Him by taking care of and feeding His sheep. He does not come to condemn us when we fail in our walk with Him, nor if we fail to live up to His expectation and to serve Him as we should. He always takes the initiative to wait for us to repent like the prodigal son. He will restore anyone who is willing to ask for forgiveness. He will heal and restore us into His fellowship and will use us for His glory.
We live in a world that condemns us when we fail. Most of the time we are not given a second chance, but our God is a God of second chances. Jesus came to give the world a second chance, and He is here now to give all sinners a second chance, to take away our sin and make us a new person. It is never too late to take hold of our second chance in life.
“A broken and contrite heart, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Despite Peter’s failures and weaknesses, Jesus was assuring him and restoring him back to service in the Kingdom of God. “Follow me!” He said.
Prayer for the Day
Thank You, Father, for giving me many second chances to help me keep going and learning to feed Your lambs. Lord, teach us to be on the lookout with love and passion, to bring those who need to experience Your forgiveness and restoration today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
我相信我们许多人都像彼得一样，在我们生命中的危急时刻未能对耶稣不离不弃。背叛耶稣是一种可怕的感觉。彼得是耶稣的忠实追随者之一，他怀着极大的信念和信心追随祂。他曾经说过：“主啊，你有永生之道，我们还归从谁呢？” 以及 “你是基督”。在最后的晚餐上，耶稣做了一个令人震惊的预言，即鸡叫之前，彼得会三次不认祂。彼得一听到这个预言，就重申他对耶稣的忠心：“我就是必须和你同死，也总不能不认你。” 就在当晚，耶稣被捉拿了，所有的门徒都离弃了耶稣；彼得却远远地跟着耶稣。彼得被一个使女认出。他为了自救，三次否认耶稣; 他三次否认耶稣是他的主和夫子。彼得发咒起誓地说：“我不认得你们说的这个人！” （马可福音14:71）。就在那一刻，主转过身来看彼得。突然，主的话闪现在彼得的脑海中：“今日鸡叫以先，你要三次不认我。” 彼得离开院子，流泪痛哭(路加福音22:61-62)。
耶稣在祂荣耀的复活后，探望彼得和其他几个门徒，并开始了疗愈和恢复的过程。这些门徒离开后，又回到加利利海打鱼。他们折腾了一整夜，并没有打着什么。耶稣就从岸上对这些渔夫喊道：“把网撒在右边。” 约翰认出了耶稣的声音。他喊道：“是主！” 彼得非常高兴地跳进水里，要去迎接耶稣。
他们吃完了，耶稣对西门彼得说：“约翰的儿子西门，你爱我比这些更深吗？” “是的，主啊，” 他说，“你知道我爱你。” 耶稣对他说：“你喂养我的小羊。”（约翰福音21:15)。
“这些” 指的是彼得非常珍视的鱼或任何东西。它也可以是其他的东西，诸如成功、梦想或业绩。耶稣希望彼得爱祂胜过一切。上帝希望我们爱祂胜过一切。彼得对主耶稣说：“你知道我爱你。” 耶稣说：“你喂养我的羊。” 我们感谢耶稣对我们的牺牲和无条件的爱。在悔改和恢复中，耶稣希望我们通过照顾和喂养祂的羊来爱祂。当我们未能与祂同行时，或者我们没有达到祂的期望，尽我们所能侍奉祂时，祂不会来定我们的罪。祂总是主动地等待我们如同浪子一样悔改。祂将恢复任何愿意寻求宽恕的人，祂必医治我们，使我们归回祂的团契，并要使用我们来荣耀祂。