Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Third Sunday after Easter - April 29, 2012

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Union Square - Photo by Michael Coniaris

Third Sunday after Easter - April 29, 2012

These devotionals are to help you prepare for the Sunday
to come in the Christian calendar.*

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was
Jesus. Jesus said to them,“Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him,“Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?”and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him,“Follow me.”
John 21:1-19 (ESV)
Throughout Scripture, we see God constantly using the most unlikely people to advance His purposes. From promising descendants to a 75-year old Abraham; to leading the Israelites out of Egypt through an inarticulate Moses; to anointing David, the youngest and smallest of eight brothers, to be the king of Israel; God constantly turns worldly wisdom upside down by selecting people for His glory that no one, not even the people chosen, would have expected. The same is true in Jesus’ selection of Peter as the great shepherd of his people (Matt. 16:18).

Before Peter’s encounter with the resurrected Christ, Peter had publicly proclaimed that, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away,” and “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” Yet, Scripture shows that far from being willing to die with Jesus, Peter publicly denied him three times, even cursing and swearing while he did so. Yet after the resurrection, Jesus graciously gave Peter a chance to be publicly restored to the role Jesus had planned for him. In questioning Peter, Jesus gave the disciple the chance to replace the memory of his threefold denial with a threefold declaration of love; and with each declaration, Jesus invited Peter to build his church, to care for his lambs and sheep.

Many may have thought, why allow someone that lied and rejected Jesus to be a leader of the church? We find the answer by remembering that God’s calling on our lives has nothing to do with our worthiness, but only with His graciousness. It is not about what we have done or want to do, but about what He has done and plans to do. God’s people can know that even after we, like Peter, repeatedly deny and fail our Lord, He will still invite us into His love and into his great purposes. Do you hear the Lord inviting you to join Him in his work? Are you willing to let Him lead you? May we let Him lead us wherever He may go, for His glory and the flourishing of His kingdom.

Susan Nacorda, Downtown Community Group Intern

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly? wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to? love what you command and desire what you promise; that,? among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts? may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; ?through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with?you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer


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