That We may Believe: Reading Through John

Devotional

I know what it’s like to betray the one I love. I also know how humbling, how convicting, and inspiring, it is to receive love in return. 

When I first began dating my husband, I was a deeply wounded, distrustful woman who expected rejection and abandonment. While I longed to believe Steve was different, the type of man who could see the worst of me and still choose to stay, past hurts left me cynical. I was certain once he saw who I really was—all my sins and flaws—he’d leave. 

So I left him first. I took off and moved in with another man. My husband should’ve closed his heart to me completely. But he didn’t. Instead, in a pure display of unconditional love, he gave the man cash to provide for my needs and left. Weeks later, he sent me a card that so clearly revealed his heart and his grace, I called him and asked him to take me back. 

He did, without a word of my betrayal, not then or ever. His grace changed me, changed us, and purchased my loyalty in a way his words never could. 

I suspect this was how Peter, Jesus’ disciple, felt on that quiet morning he encountered the risen Savior. The same man he had betrayed during His darkest hour, and after such a confident proclamation. The night before Jesus’ death, Peter declared he’d stand by Jesus, even if this cost him his life. Once that risk became reality, he denied knowing his beloved Rabbi. The guilt that followed must’ve been crippling, as crippling as Christ’s grace was freeing. 

Jesus didn’t hold Peter’s sin against him. Instead, He invited him close. He restored the relationship and clarified his call. This is how Christ responds to our sin as well—with grace, forgiveness, love, and always the invitation to begin again. Then, He commands us to feed His sheep—to show others the same love and forgiveness.

~Jennifer Slattery 

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