Love Offers Grace
Jesus was the perfect embodiment of both love and truth. He never told a lie, but at the same time he was never cruel or judgmental with the truth. Every word he spoke was wrapped in love, so even when the truth hurt, he never broke anyone’s trust.
When Jesus was sentenced to death, his followers dispersed in fear of meeting the same fate. Peter, however, decided to follow Jesus on an undercover mission to see what became of his master. But when he was recognized by several people, he passionately denied ever knowing Jesus. In Jesus’ moment of vulnerability, Peter betrayed him.
Crushed by his actions, Peter went away that night and wept bitter tears. He was ashamed of himself, and he was convinced that Jesus was probably ashamed of him too. Jesus died on a cross the next day, and Peter was convinced that the story was over and he’d have to live with his shame for the rest of his life.
But love always makes a way for healing.
Jesus conquered death, and after his resurrection he appeared to Peter. Against the tranquil backdrop of the sunrise, Jesus casually cooked breakfast on the shore while Peter, who was out on the water fishing, literally jumped out of the boat to get to his Savior.
When Peter got to the shore, Jesus asked him the same question three times: “Peter, do you love me?” Each time, Peter answered, “Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.” Each time, Jesus replied, “Then feed my sheep.”
Peter started to get offended by the third time of being asked the same question, but what he didn’t see in the moment was that Jesus was showing him love has the power to cover over our sins. Peter denied Jesus three times, and now, Jesus was extending the grace to allow Peter to affirm his love three times.
I don’t know what you’ve been through. I don’t know how you’ve been hurt or how you’ve been betrayed, and I don’t know what you’ve done to hurt and betray others. What I do know is that God loves you. God offers his grace to you, and he wants you to embrace his grace and then freely share it with others.