A last meal with Jesus

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#TheDailyDose John 21

The problem of incompleteness

A couple of things we’ve picked up on

  • Jesus deals with sin and guilt  -I sort of get that and the objective guilt bit is easy enough but the shame less easy –how do I get on with things when people are still mocking or disowning me. 
  • Okay so legalism and licence and magic are not the answer …. But what do we do if we want a church to function effectively and for people to grow into holy lives.

There still seems to be some detail to fill in …. And we probably aren’t going to get all the way there in 20 minutes today!

But I think there are some further clues here at the lakeside over Breakfast.    All usual disclaimers apply I don’t think that this is all that is going on in John 21 and I’m not offering a close exegesis this morning  – but what does Jesus do with Peter

An invite to come  and eat

Meals are important for Jesus  -hospitality culture . Jesus often uses them to teach lessons and those lessons are often about who is welcome at his table

Jesus eats with the shamed –tax collectors, sinners, has his feet washed by sinners ad provides food for the forgetful. 

What happens here? It’s family time. Here are these men who messed up –deniers and disowners. But Jesus invites them to come and eat with him. 

A couple of things here

  1. Our responsibility to welcome the guilty, shamed and heavy burdened.  If they are welcomed by Jesus they are welcomed by us
  2. Meals are for family   -nb How do you view church membership (cf 1 Corinthians 12)

Go Feed

Jesus has a conversation with Peter “Do you love me”  – dealing with guilt and shame does not avoid the tough conversations.  Shame and guilt carry pain but that pain means we have to come to Christ –own your shame

Restoration includes work in God’s kingdom …. “for  good works”

Nb 1  -when Jesus puts Peter to work he has infallible insight.  He knows everything.  So  he knows exactly what is right for Peter. Some care needed for us. I don’t think that restoration will necessarily mean into the same or into every role.  For example someone who has been caught in sexual immorality should not go (back) into pastoral ministry nor a person who has been involved in financial irregularities into a treasurer’s role. This is not about shame but about pastoral care and wisdom for them and the family.  We don’t knowingly put people in temptation’s way.

NB 2. Restoration for Peter was in some respects harder than just slipping into the background. It means he will in fact die the death he originally said he was willing to die. In fact where he failed in sacrifice, Christ says there will be a second opportunity and this time he will die for his Lord. So from one angle Jesus’ words about Peter’s death look like bad news but even this is grace.

This is not an attitude of gratitude.  Future Grace protects us from thinking we can “pay it back”

BUT  my new life in Christ means I show trust

  1. That I really have been changed (cf Romans 6:1-2)
  2. That  God is with me – I am secure & safe in him
  3. That I have hope – looking forward to future grace “There is a day”

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