A pastor friend made the headline in the local paper. It wasn’t a positive thing because he had been fired by his church. He knew he had an anger problem and had prayed that the Lord would help him overcome the problem but never imagined that God’s solution would be to lose his job. He learned humility leads to restoration through treatment and mentoring. In time, he would be restored to pastor another church. He would be the first to admit that because of these events, he was a much better pastor.
Humility means the quality of having a humble view of one’s own importance. Peter had been humbled. He had promised to never desert his Savior the night before Jesus’ death. But, as all four Gospels record, before the cock crowed the next morning, Peter denied Jesus three times. Jesus had warned Peter that this would happen, but Peter refused to believe it.
After Peter had denied knowing Jesus the third time, the cock crowed, and Jesus turned to look at him. Peter, realized what he had done and began to weep bitterly. Peter was carrying a large burden because of his failure, but Jesus took the initiative to restore him. Peter’s humility leads to restoration.
Restoration means bringing back to a former position or condition: reinstatement.  The other disciples knew Peter failed and denied Jesus. It seems to be the “elephant in the room.” How could they trust Peter? Would he do the same to them? Jesus had plans for Peter to be a leader in the room and wanted to deal with the issue.
The Greek has several words for love while English only has one. Here is the story from the Amplified version:
John 21: 15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do—with total commitment and devotion]?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 Again He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with total commitment and devotion]?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]?” Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you [really] love Me [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend]?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Restored to Grow in Faith
After his failure, Peter could only admit a love of friendship, not a love of total commitment and devotion. Peter denied Jesus three times and Jesus asked Peter if he loves Him three times. The third time, Jesus comes down to Peter’s level and asked if he loves Him as a friend. Peter is hurt but still claimed a friendship love.
Then Jesus goes onto describe how Peter will glorify Him in death. I always thought this was a bit of a disconnect in the story until I realized that Jesus was predicting a martyr’s death for Peter. At this time Peter could only admit a love of friendship, but there would come a time when Peter’s love would grow into a love of total commitment and devotion. For it is only that kind of love that someone would die for.
Humility & Restoration
Do you need to humble yourself before the Lord? Do you need to be restored by Jesus today? Our humility leads to restoration. The Lord always takes the initiative. He convicts us of our sin through the work of the Holy Spirit. It begins with Him! When we humble ourselves and turn from our sin and towards God in repentance, He restores us. He is a God of restoration that is why He gave His life for us upon the cross. Romans 5:8: But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
To hear more of the story of Peter, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-peter