The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
People often make a lot of the word choices in John 21:15-19. Jesus restores Peter, who has denied him. He asks Peter, “Do you love me?” There might be some merit to the arguments about the word used for “love.” Then again, I tend to think that argument is weak. What seems more significant is the fact that Peter denied Jesus three times during Jesus’ trial. Now, Jesus has Peter affirm him three times during Peter’s trial. Peter is restored as one of Jesus’ apostles. He will no longer be driven to deny Jesus.
By the resurrection of Jesus, Peter’s life has been turned around. Verses 18-19 speak to the changed life Peter will live. Earlier in his life, he was the one in control. He was master of his own destiny. He clothed himself and chose his course. As one chosen and directed by Jesus, now he no longer belongs to himself. He will not have the kind of choices that he once did. Under the leadership of Jesus, who has restored him, he will serve the Lord wherever he goes. He will be clothed with power of the Holy Spirit, he will be clothed with prison garments compelling him to serve Jesus’ sheep, he will eventually be clothed with chains in a Roman prison, and, history tells us, be executed for his Christian faith.
Peter is restored to be a shepherd of Christ’s flock. What is the call and restoration Jesus gives each of his people? It is to bear the name of Jesus and his reconciling care to the end of the earth. Christians do not belong to themselves. They belong to the risen Lord. This is true restoration.
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