It was all confusing for Peter and the rest of the disciples when Jesus was taken to be tried and crucified. Despite the fact that he had earlier informed them of the trials to come before the crucifixion, the disciples all struggled with their devotion to the Son of God they knew, who wrought miracles and who taught them as their master.
Even Peter, whom flesh and blood never revealed to him who really Christ was, was almost lost in his devotion as well. He did deny Christ, not once, but thrice – literally denouncing Jesus in his spirit, soul and body. However, Peter had to be restored back to his faith, not as a fragile twig but as a solid stone upon which Christ’s church was eventually built. His steps had to be retraced back to Jesus as his first love. When he fixed his gaze back on Jesus, he was reminded of his assignment – to feed His sheep.
When we come back to the most high, we’re going to reclaim our identity back. And when we return back to our first love, something amazing often happens – all leading us back to the same Lord – our savior.
Jesus tried to get Peter to see that he had entrusted upon him the responsibility of leadership; so he asked him thrice – during his identity grooming
process – “do you love me?” (John 21:17). Peter there and then needed to have that revelation of his purpose to be engraved in his spirit, such that when his devotion would eventually be questioned, he had to draw from the wells of revelation knowledge – how to get back to the base of his calling – to lead God’s people.
Following the encounter that shook Peter’s faith, his foundation was reinforced and Peter, with the rest of the disciples went out in apostolic boldness preaching and teaching the gospel in the free-ways and the by-ways until the New Testament church was birthed. The identity of the living God, therefore did show up in his living church – which was made possible through the devotion of Peter and the rest of the disciples.
Peter’s devotion was total; first, he allowed Christ in his boat (life), he left his fishing profession, he declared his love for Jesus, he found his true identity as the foundational rock for His church and in his apostolic leadership, him and the rest of the disciples whom Jesus raised – altogether, they changed the world.
…excerpts of Pastor Dawn’s last sermon as penned by the stylus of a ready scribe! (Ps. 45:1)