Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” box in the upper left-hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.
KENDRA GRAHAM NOTES FROM JOHN 21
Restored to Purpose
And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
John 21:19b (NKJV)
He said to him “Follow Me”
John 21 is a raw passage and hard to get through when you really feel the open wound that Peter had. On the night of the crucifixion he had denied Jesus, straight to the face of the Rabbi that he had been Talmid to. If only Peter could go back in time and undo one thing….
How many times have we said that very thing? “If only…..” So we put a lid on what we will allow God to do in our lives. We put a lid on the calling, on the imprint God is allowed to have on our lives and on the world around us. We are wounded. We are suffering. We are guilty. We are disqualified.
Here in John 21, Jesus bring Peter back in front of that charcoal fire. Was it because He wanted to rub Peter’s nose in the filth of his failure? No. It was to heal Peter. Healing occurs when we allow those things buried and covered in shame to be brought out, cleaned and healed.
Peter was ready to return to his life as a fisherman. He was ready to give up his calling to build the church so that someone more deserving and less stained could step in and take the reins. What Peter did not realize was how important humility is in the Kingdom of God. Peter had a HUGE dose of that…. now.
Now that Peter had allowed Jesus to expose his wound, he could heal. It’s the opposite of what we want to do, the opposite of what we think would propel the Kingdom of God. Now, in Peter’s humility, he can seek out the lost. Now that Peter is humbled, he can feed lambs and shepherd the sheep.
It is near impossible to truly shepherd sheep in arrogance… the arrogant shepherd would eat the sheep in his self-righteousness. Now, after experiencing the restoring love of Jesus, Peter could reach out to other hurting sheep and restore them. Now that Peter had been broken, the sheep could feed off those broken pieces of his pride.
We hate that God uses our brokenness. We think He uses only “perfect” people who have not done “that”… that thing I have done. I have spoken to many a hurting Christian who is very aware of their shortfalls and has chosen to wear their scarlet letter day in and day out; they choose to remain in bondage to shame and guilt, thinking that’s as good as it gets for someone “like them.”
The TRUTH is…. the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy may not have stolen our souls, but that king from that other kingdom has stolen our purpose, our impact. We settle for living lives of surviving instead of thriving. Jesus said He came to give us life and to give it abundantly (John 10)… but do we believe Him? Do we really believe Philippians 1:6, “For I am CONFIDENT of this very thing that He which has begun a good work in us will complete it”?
What is the secret to living life abundantly? John 21:19b says it all, “Follow Me.” Follow the Rabbi. The call had not changed, and neither had Peter’s purpose. The Rabbi continued to call to Peter, “Come.” Remember, the Rabbi asks a Talmid to follow him, not because the Talmid has potential to know what the Rabbi knows; the Talmid is charged to be what the Rabbi is—to #bethemessage.
Jesus was just as relentless for Peter as He was for Blind Bart and the tomb raider… Peter just had no idea of his desperate state until now. What a blessing to know the depths of grace! God still wants to use Peter, and He still wants to use us. Yet we don’t want Him to use “that” part of our story; we would prefer God use our strengths rather than our weaknesses. We’d rather lose an arm or a leg than to expose our brokenness.
Restoration is not cheap grace. God will show us that weakness and humility are advantages. When you are weak, you are dependent. Peter pressed though the exposure of his failure, and now at the end of the chapter, a curtain can be drawn over it. It has been dealt with in its entirety.
There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ, Romans 8:1. Do not handicap your usefulness for God by constantly rehearsing that failure. Remember the pain it caused—that is redemptive—but remember too that the guilt and shame that has kept you bound has been paid for by the cross of Christ. SPEAK of the grace you have received.
Today, choose to follow Jesus. It’s not about where you have been or what you have done; it’s about who you are: you’re God’s handmade creation and you mean everything to Him. “Come, Follow Me,” the Rabbi says. Be covered in the dust of His Word. #Bethemessage
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?
What are your reasons NOT to Follow Jesus?
What are your reasons TO follow Jesus?
How have you been #Allin or #Allout?
What redemption story has Jesus written in your life?
LIVE IT OUT:
Follow Jesus today as you open His Word, and follow where He leads.
Courage often follows obedience…. so be courageous.
P.S. Catch up on the story of #LIVINGBOLD as we Follow the Rabbi:
See The Cove’s Periscope page for our past Bible study messages!