Who is Jesus? Forgiving Friend

Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”

Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep. I tell you for certain that when you were a young man, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will hold out your hands. Then others will wrap your belt around you and lead you where you don’t want to go.”

Jesus said this to tell how Peter would die and bring honor to God. Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!”                John 21:17-19 (CEV)

I said yesterday how much I loved the story of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus. She showed her love for Him because of how He had healed her. He healed her through the forgiveness of her sins.

If I had to choose only one person in the Bible that I most connect with – it would be Peter. We would have much in common! Peter was very committed and passionate about Jesus. It was His ability to feel so intensely that got him into trouble. He allowed his fear to overwhelm his commitment and send him denying and running away when questioned about his association with Jesus. Three times He denied Jesus. And then went out and wept bitterly with guilt and despair (John 18).

Jesus wasn’t going to allow Peter to wallow in that despair. He knew that Peter was to be a leader in the Kingdom work that the disciples would continue in Jesus’ name. And so He reinstates Peter by ‘calling’ him back three times. Even John recognized this reinstatement and so included it in his gospel account.

Jesus said that I am His friend and a friend has no greater way to show love for another friend than to lay down his life (John 15). Jesus did that. He gave up His existence with the Father to come and live on this earth and then be the sacrifice that was needed for me to be able to live forever with Him. I have denied Jesus in my life and yet He did not hesitate to go to the cross. When I finally turned to Him, He was there, Savior and faithful friend. There really isn’t any way to comprehend all that Jesus is to me. I guess that is the best part of having a relationship – getting to know the other person who, in this case, also happens to be my Creator. Every day of my life time, there is something new to learn about Him and from Him.

My friend, Jesus, has forever changed my life. He has shown me that there is always hope. He’s taught me about faith and trust by His example. He joins me in laughter but He’s also been there to get me through the hard times, sad times, and when I am so confused.

LORD, Savior, Healer, and Friend – my Jesus is here.

Do You Hear What I Hear? written by Noel Ragney and Gloria Shayne (1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis) sung by Bing Crosby



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