Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” (Luke 22:61)
Jesus had the last supper with His disciples in the upstairs room. Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There Jesus told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
Jesus walked away, about a stone’s throw, which is not far. The disciples could hear what Jesus prayed. Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42) Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. Jesus knew how he would die, and especially felt the pain and agony when he separated from God for our sins. Later, on the cross, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,j lema sabachthani?” [“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”] (Matthew 27:46) It was the moment that all our sins of past, now, and future are completely forgiven.
Jesus stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” (Matthew 22:46) Soon, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. Then they arrested Jesus, and led to the high priest. And Peter followed at a distance. The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.
A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”
But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”
After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”
“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.
About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
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.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. (Matthew 22:61-62)
Jesus foretold Peter’s denial. Jesus had to see Peter who was denying Jesus before people. Then at the third time, Jesus straightly looked at Peter, and Peter saw Jesus, while denying Jesus. The rooster crowed. Peter, then, suddenly remembered what was told by Jesus. Peter left the place, weeping bitterly. However, it was not the end of the story. Jesus, who was arrested, crucified (for our sins), and then conquered the death. Jesus lived again on the third day. Jesus appeared to His disciples who were terrified and afraid of being captured and killed like Jesus, and comforted them.
All of the disciples were in joy, but Peter had a big scare in his heart. He denied Jesus three times before small girls and people, while Jesus was watching over him. He could not erase what he did to Jesus from his mind. It was always with him, as a dark cloud in his heart. He could not take off the sin and his painful memory us from his mind, because it was too heavy and deeply rooted in his heart. Soon he had to go back what he used to do – catching fish instead of being catcher of men as Jesus promised.
Jesus, who was full of mercy, grace and love, was not able to let him alone. Jesus came to Peter fishing in the sea of Galilee, where he used to catch fish. However, at the first sight, Peter could not recognize Him. When one of the disciples said to Peter, “Its’ the Lord!”, Peter finally recognized Jesus was at the shore. As usual, Peter jumped into sea from his boat, and hurried to the shore to see Jesus. Jesus prepared fire. Peter and the rest of the disciples cooked fish on the fire, and ate breakfast together with Jesus.
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. (John 21:15-17)
Jesus asked three times, “Do you love me?” Peter answered each with “You know I love you.” Jesus intentionally asked three times, and made him confess “I love you.” Each confession took away each denial, and Peter’s heart was healed by the love of Jesus. This is the love of Jesus. Jesus never asked why. Jesus’ focus was to heal Peter, not to tell truth to Peter. This was the power of the love of Jesus.
Through this loving touch of Jesus restored Peter from the life-long shame and humiliation, the new Peter was born. When the Holy Spirit came upon Peter, Peter was able to make three-thousand converts just one day. He dedicated the rest of his life for expanding the God’s Kingdom on earth and saving the souls.
Jesus loves us no matter how sinful we are. Jesus forgives us through the blood of Jesus Christ, and cleans one sin by one sin in our heart. Jesus is also the healer, who heals and mends all pains and deep scars in our heart. Jesus is our true friend, who loves us without asking why or what we did. Jesus is our king, who dearly loves us and frees us from all sins. Hallelujah! Praise the ever-loving Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ!
And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more. (John 8:11)