April 23, 2019

Jesus Loves Us in Spite of Our Past

April 23, 2019


John 21:1-14
This weekend’s reading: John 21:15-17


When Peter realizes that it’s Jesus on the shore calling out to them, he’s excited.  It’s been weeks since they have seen him.  He’s so excited that he dives into the water and swims to shore to meet him.
While it cannot be proven, the suspicion is that, when Peter approached Jesus on shore, Peter felt awkward in Jesus’ presence.  The nuances in the rest of the story give credence to this theory, especially Peter’s busying himself retrieving the fish from the nets and counting them. 
The thought is that, while Peter is excited to see Jesus, his thoughts go to, “After all the bold promises I made to Jesus, how can I look him in the eye?  After saying I would never leave him and would be willing to die for him, I denied him three times.  How can I dare look him in the eye?”
Ever hurt someone and then felt awkward looking the person in their eye?  Ever embarrassed about what you did?  Ever turned red while confessing to a loved one or a good friend?
Notice that Jesus loved Peter in spite of what Peter did. He still loved the other disciples in spite of their deserting Him. Jesus still loves us!


  • Is there a time you couldn’t look another person in the eye because of a failure or betrayal?
  • Is there a time when another couldn’t look you in the eye because of their failure or betrayal?
  • Is there someone whom you still love in spite of what the other did?
  • Is there someone who still loves you in spite of what you did?
  • Is there something about which you want/need to talk with God?


  • Talk about how hard it is to tell the truth.
  • Talk about how you feel when you try to cover up the truth or avoid it.
  • Talk about how you love each other, even when someone hides the truth.
  • Make promises to be honest with each other.


Most loving gracious, Lord, it is so much easier to live in darkness rather than the light even though it is scary there. Sometimes, it’s so much easier to lie than to tell the truth.  Yet, you know the truth.  I can’t hide from you and you still love me.  Lord, help me to live in the light of your love and truth today.  In your gracious name, I pray. Amen.