John 21:18 – June 3, 2022

Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. John 21:18 NABRE                

Christ meet His disciples after His resurrection and has a conversation with Peter. Peter denies Jesus three times and now Christ asks Peter three times if he loves Him, which Peter affirms each time. This message is framed as Christ forgiving Peter for breaking their relationship. With God relationship is broken from our side, God always loves us, always forgives us and always desires communion with us. The scene with Peter is so he will know he is forgiven and the love of Christ is still with Him. To Peter’s response of love Christ tells Peter to feed His sheep, and Peter knows his mission will be to carry on the serving Christ began. Peter then hears Christ share he will be told where to go, his arms will be stretched out and someone else will dress him and lead him where he does not want to go. The imagery is reminiscent of Jesus last hours on earth; He was striped, dressed as a king with a crown of thorns and led to calvary where He was put on a cross, arms stretched out until His death. This is a vivid image for Peter, who traditional tells us was crucified thirty plus years after Jesus in Rome.

Though Peter is led where he does not want to go, where he goes is where God needs him to go. Peter likely is honored to be crucified like His Lord, in fact legend tells us He didn’t feel worthy of the same death as Jesus and asks to be crucified upside down. Being God’s witness sometimes means martyrdom, but it always leads to glory. God never tires of forgiven us, so we should never tire of turning to God.

Do you trust your forgiveness in God? Are you a witness who loves God?

Being God’s witness sometimes means martyrdom, but it always leads to glory. God never tires of forgiven us, so we should never tire of turning to God. Click To Tweet

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