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← Jesus Restores Peter - Mack Tomlinson

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Showing Revision 5 created 11/25/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. John 21.
  2. I want to speak this morning,
  3. the Lord helping me,
  4. on Jesus restores Peter.
  5. Jesus restores Peter.
  6. John 21:15-23.
  7. Lord, help us now.
  8. John 21:15-23.
  9. "And when they had finished breakfast,
  10. Jesus said to Simon Peter,
  11. 'Simon, son of John,
  12. do you love Me more than these?'
  13. He said to Him,
  14. 'Yes Lord, You know that I love You.'
  15. He said to him, 'Feed My lambs.'
  16. He said to him a second time,
  17. 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?'
  18. He said to Him,
  19. 'Yes Lord, You know that I love You.'
  20. He said to him,
  21. 'Tend My sheep.'
  22. He said to him a third time,
  23. 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?'
  24. Peter was grieved
  25. because He said to him the third time,
  26. 'Do you love Me?'
  27. And he said to Him,
  28. 'Lord, You know everything.
  29. You know that I love You.'
  30. Jesus said to him,
  31. 'Feed My sheep.
  32. Truly, I say to you,
  33. when you were young,
  34. you used to dress yourself
  35. and walk wherever you wanted,
  36. but when you are old,
  37. you will stretch out your hands
  38. and another will dress you
  39. and carry you where
    you do not want to go.'
  40. This He said to show by what kind of death
  41. he (that is Peter) was to glorify God.
  42. And after saying this, He said to him,
  43. 'Follow Me.'
  44. Peter turned and saw the
    disciple whom Jesus loved
  45. following them,
  46. the one who had been
    reclining at table close to Him,
  47. who had said, 'Lord, who
    is it that will betray you?'
  48. when Peter saw him, he said to Jesus,
  49. 'Lord, what about this man?'
  50. Jesus said to him,
  51. 'If it is My will that he
    remain until I come,
  52. what is that to you?
  53. You follow Me.'
  54. So the saying spread abroad
    among the brothers
  55. that this disciple was not to die.
  56. Yet, Jesus did not say to him
  57. that he was not to die,
  58. but if it is My will that he
    remains until I come,
  59. what is that to you?"
  60. During the 40 days

  61. between the resurrection
    and the ascension of Christ,
  62. where was Jesus?
  63. Well, He was not as commonly thought
  64. on earth continually for
    40 days in Jerusalem.
  65. He's now after the resurrection
    what has been called
  66. the Heavenly Man in Paradise.
  67. And He will now over 40 days
  68. make appearances in and around Jerusalem.
  69. He appears to many.
  70. That is, He surprised
    unannounced appearances.
  71. He just pops into locked rooms.
  72. He just suddenly appears here and there.
  73. Two guys walking on the Emmaus road,
  74. grieving, sharing,
  75. suddenly this Stranger appears,
  76. starts walking with them -
  77. He's making appearances.
  78. Resurrection appearances.
  79. The Gospels say that when they
  80. were in the upper room at one point,
  81. He came and stood among them.
  82. How many appearances were there?

  83. After the resurrection,
    before the ascension?
  84. Well, 14 are mentioned in the Gospels,
  85. in the book of Acts, Galatians,
  86. and 1 Corinthians 15.
  87. Different days and different times
  88. the Lord appeared.
  89. First to Mary Magdalene,
  90. second to some women
    returning from the tomb,
  91. third to Peter, fourth appearance
  92. was to the two on the Emmaus road,
  93. fifth appearance was
    to 10 of the disciples
  94. in the upper room,
  95. the sixth appearance was 11 of them -
  96. remember Thomas wasn't
    there the first time -
  97. 11 disciples in the upper room,
  98. the seventh appearance
    is this one - John 21.
  99. The disciples fishing on
    the Sea of Tiberius.
  100. This is here in John 21.
  101. And there are six more,
  102. including appearances to James,
  103. Stephen, Saul of Tarsus,
  104. and John on the isle of Patmos.
  105. And then the biggest group
  106. Paul interestingly mentions
    in 1 Corinthians 15,
  107. how the Lord appeared to over 500
  108. at one time.
  109. So here in John 21 is His 7th appearance

  110. where the disciples are fishing,
  111. they've gone fishing.
  112. And virtually all of this
    chapter of John 21
  113. records this appearance,
  114. this event, this experience
  115. of the Lord with the disciples
  116. and particularly with Peter.
  117. The entire scene - He comes to all of them
  118. and He's on the shore, they're fishing,
  119. He says come, let's have
    breakfast together.
  120. And they recognize that it's the Lord.
  121. So this account is about Him
  122. appearing to all of them,
  123. but then He's got His eye
  124. particularly on one of them.
  125. And the entire scene is especially meant
  126. to restore Peter fully,
  127. where Peter knows it -
  128. and not only where he knows it,
  129. where he feels it
  130. and he experiences full restoration.
  131. You know, I'm a baseball fan.

  132. My son was a good baseball player,
  133. and Philip Neeley and I,
  134. we have an annual trip
  135. to watch one pro baseball game.
  136. I enjoy baseball.
  137. We usually talk more about the Gospel
  138. and the kingdom
  139. than we do watch baseball,
  140. but I like baseball.
  141. A triple in baseball is more rare
  142. even than a home run.
  143. Well, Peter had a triple denial of Jesus.
  144. And remember he went out and did what?
  145. He wept bitterly.
  146. If you documented all of Peter's
  147. major responses to the
    Lord Jesus in 3 years,
  148. where he was right or he was wrong,
  149. where he was victorious
    or he was a failure,
  150. at the calming of the sea in the boat,
  151. his response was:
  152. "Depart from me, Lord,
  153. for I am a sinful man."
  154. That's a victory.
  155. That's a right response.
  156. And then he says later
  157. when the Lord asked him:
  158. "Who do men say that I am?"
  159. "Peter, what about you?"
  160. "You are the Christ, the
    Son of the living God."
  161. Victory.
  162. Right.
  163. "Flesh and blood have
    not revealed this to you.
  164. My Father in heaven revealed this to you."
  165. And then, Peter turns around
  166. this same hour when the
    Lord has told them plainly
  167. He's going to be rejected,
  168. He's going to suffer and die.
  169. Peter takes Him aside, and Mark says
  170. that Peter began to rebuke Him.
  171. And the Lord interrupts
    him and rebukes him
  172. and says, "Get behind Me, Satan!"
  173. Failure.
  174. Peter's failure.
  175. Walking on the water,
  176. sinking in unbelief.
  177. Failure.
  178. Discussing who's going to be the greatest.
  179. Failure.
  180. Self-confidently affirming:
  181. "I will never fail. I will never deny You.
  182. Even if everyone else does, I will not."
  183. Failure.
  184. He denies the Lord three
    times with an oath,
  185. failure, failure, failure.
  186. Seven of these nine times were failures,
  187. like a necklace that you
    might have stringed together -
  188. two nice pearls with seven
    ugly thorns on the necklace.
  189. Well, the pearls are nice
    and they're wonderful,
  190. but it would be better if there
    weren't the ugly thorns, right?
  191. What would that final massive failure
  192. of denials do to Peter's heart?
  193. And where did it leave him spiritually?
  194. We don't know.
  195. The Gospel writers don't
    give us an insight.
  196. They don't give us details.
  197. They don't give us Peter's
    testimony about it.
  198. But what happens in the heart and mind
  199. and emotions and in the soul
  200. of a believer who stumbles so much?
  201. Who fails?
  202. Who in weak moments
  203. makes wrong choices?
  204. And is not even themselves?
  205. And they sin so miserably?
  206. You know, if the other disciples
  207. had been around the fire that night
  208. with Peter warming himself
  209. and had heard Peter,
  210. they would have all been shocked.
  211. Perhaps if they had been there
  212. he would have been strengthened
  213. to not deny the Lord, but he does.
  214. What does a Christian experience
  215. within the walls of his own heart
  216. and his own thoughts?
  217. All Christian experience - good or bad -
  218. involves and never lacks
  219. true human emotion, feelings.
  220. The human drama of experiential realities
  221. that go on that God sees,
  222. that you experience,
  223. and nobody knows it's going on
  224. when it's happening.
  225. Wounded, hurting, reeling, doubting.
  226. What all was Peter experiencing?
    We don't know.
  227. What is certain is this:
  228. All Christian experience -
  229. both victories in obedience
  230. and failures in sin -
  231. all Christian experience has woven into it
  232. the human fabric of every real
  233. human emotion, struggle, and battle.
  234. Anger.
  235. Fear.
  236. Frustration.
  237. Weak moments of compromise.
  238. An unrenewed mind
  239. that in moments doesn't view things right
  240. and you believe a lie.
  241. Deep feelings.
  242. The pull of wrong desires.
  243. When you know it's wrong
  244. and you're pulled more toward it
  245. than away from it.
  246. Defeat in your heart by wrong choices.
  247. Hope and sadness,
  248. small and big consequences.
  249. Small and big compromises.
  250. And the sadness with feelings
  251. of defeat and failure.
  252. A believer can be left
    in such a condition.
  253. It's like getting the breath
    knocked out of you severely.
  254. You can't function.
  255. You can't even think clearly for awhile.
  256. You can't respond,
    you can't talk about it.
  257. The heavens are brass.
  258. Your mind is clouded
  259. with feelings and thoughts and struggles.
  260. You don't even know how to see reality.
  261. You're left stunned and passive
  262. and unable to do
    anything except feel pain.
  263. So Peter's condition -
    probably some of this
  264. and much of this in there
  265. after the resurrection.
  266. When he realizes the Lord is raised,
  267. he's astounded, he's amazed.
  268. You know he had joy.
  269. But he had to still have baggage.
  270. And isn't that the process
    of sanctification
  271. when the Lord saves us?
  272. Sanctification is the Holy Spirit
  273. dealing with all our baggage.
  274. A lot of baggage.
  275. Still regrets that will
    hinder Peter's future
  276. had to have been there.
  277. If not, why would Jesus
    pull him aside here
  278. not to remind him of his past,
  279. not to say, hey Peter, remember the fire?
  280. Remember what you did?
  281. Remember when our eyes met?
  282. Remember, Peter?
  283. The Lord didn't do that.
  284. Not to remind him of his past,
  285. but to call him to the future
  286. and heal him with His love.
  287. That's what's involved here.
    That's what's going on.
  288. How does the Lord do this?

  289. There is nothing more beautiful and wise;
  290. there is no more beautiful and wise
  291. approach in the Bible
  292. of personal restoration and revival
  293. than the Lord's dealings with Peter here.
  294. What is the Lord's approach and process?
  295. Well, it's wonderful. Look at v. 12.
  296. Let's go to IHOP (breakfast restaurant).
  297. Let's have breakfast, guys.
  298. What was Peter thinking?
  299. Apparently, he and the Lord
    had not had a sit down yet.
  300. They had not been able to discuss things.
  301. And Peter it seemed -
  302. we don't know what was said -
  303. but here's a post-resurrection
  304. restoration breakfast party.
  305. And they're just going
    to eat together first.
  306. What an approach! It breaks the ice.
  307. Let's have breakfast.
  308. This is relational. This is time together.
  309. And after a fellowship
    meal with all of them,
  310. and an atmosphere of welcome
  311. and acceptance and peace,
  312. Jesus then turns His attention one-on-one,
  313. He turns His heart and His attention
  314. to Peter for one-on-one ministry.
  315. And we're going to see beginning in v. 15
  316. the Lord's call of Peter not to look back,
  317. but His call of Peter to go forward.
  318. Onward, upward, out of the lowlands
  319. of a blistering defeat.
  320. The higher ground of love and grace.
  321. What does the Lord say
    to Peter to restore him?

  322. First of all: Love Me.
  323. Verses 15-17,
  324. "When they had finished breakfast,
  325. Jesus said to Simon Peter,
  326. 'Simon, do you love Me more than these?'
  327. 'Yes Lord, You know I love You.'"
  328. Verse 16,
  329. "Simon, do you love Me?"
  330. "Yes Lord, You know I love You."
  331. Verse 17,
  332. "Simon, do you love Me?"
  333. Peter was grieved, but he said,
  334. "Yes Lord, You know everything.
  335. You know that I love You."
  336. Why this broken record of love?
  337. Peter had a triple denial,
  338. and here the Lord hits a triple too.
  339. Do you love Me?
  340. Whatever failure you've had -
  341. distance or last week -
  342. the Lord's word to you right now is:
  343. Do you love Me?
  344. Do you love Me?
  345. Isn't it obvious that Jesus is
  346. gently blowing on the embers
  347. of Peter's wounded heart
  348. to rekindle a mutual love relationship?
  349. Breakfast is finished with all of them.
  350. And He sits down with Peter:
  351. Peter, do you love Me?
  352. Do you love Me more than these?

  353. Now what did He mean by that?
  354. More than these things?
  355. No, obviously, that's
    not what He's saying.
  356. Do you love Me more
  357. than you love these other disciples?
  358. That's not it either.
  359. It's this: Do you love Me
  360. more than these other disciples love Me?
  361. Why would the Lord do that?
  362. Because Peter, remember,
  363. had confidently boasted days before:
  364. If they all forsake You, I won't.
  365. I'm further along in my
    sanctification than these guys are.
  366. I'll never do it.
  367. I'll die with You before I deny You.
  368. Peter confidently stated he would have
  369. devotion that exceeds theirs.
  370. Well, you know, it didn't
    take death to deny Jesus.
  371. It only took a servant girl by the fire
  372. glancing at him and then
    taking a second look
  373. and realizing: Hey, you were with Him!
  374. You're one of them!
  375. It only took that for Peter suddenly
  376. to deny the Lord three times
  377. even with an oath.
  378. That's all it took.
  379. Peter didn't have the devoted
    love he thought he had.
  380. He wasn't as far along as he thought.
  381. He didn't see that he
    was yet capable of this.
  382. He thought more highly
    of himself than he should.
  383. He boasted of greater love,
  384. but he failed the first test.
  385. And even did what others did not do.
  386. He denied the Lord three times.
  387. So certainly, the Lord is
    saying to Peter and to us:
  388. Peter, what about your love for Me now?
  389. Do you still believe you love Me more
  390. than the others love Me?
  391. What's the Lord doing here?
  392. He's doing heart surgery on Peter here
  393. to begin the healing balm
  394. of restored love.
  395. It would be hard and humiliating
  396. to be in Peter's place
  397. because those feelings
  398. and human thoughts and emotions
  399. of how does the Lord really view me now?
  400. We've not really yet talked about this.
  401. It's hard to look Him in the eye.
  402. Because He looked at me after I denied Him
  403. and that look has haunted me ever since.
  404. How could I have done it?
  405. What a fool I was!
  406. What a failure I've been!
  407. Where do I stand now?
  408. Do the other disciples
    even want me around?
  409. Do they trust me?
  410. Things can't ever be the same.
  411. As the song says,
  412. that was then, but this is now.
  413. What all did Peter feel?
  414. Well, we're not clear, but what is clear
  415. is wounded Peter wasn't healed yet
  416. and Jesus is healing him here.
  417. In light of his denials, his humiliation,
  418. his seeing his own heart,
  419. his tears of repentance,
  420. where does his love for
    the Savior stand now?
  421. Now, how is loving the Savior
  422. when you've sinned against Him
  423. and you've failed Him so much?
  424. Restored love is the need.
  425. And isn't that the need for all of us?
  426. Always.
  427. And it's always the remedy
  428. for restoration and for
    being turned again.
  429. The Lord Jesus Christ here
  430. loves Peter tenderly,
    patiently, and perfectly,
  431. and not only wants Peter to know it,
  432. He wants Peter to love Him right then.
  433. That's why He's saying:
    Do you love Me, Peter?
  434. Come on, give Me your love.
  435. Give Me your heart afresh.
  436. He wants Peter's love
    restored so Peter will be healed.
  437. Now after the third question
    (Peter, do you love Me?),

  438. Peter is grieved.
  439. What kind of grief was this?
  440. It was not the grief of
    embarrassment or hurt feelings.
  441. It was the grief of a sad, tender heart
  442. who had failed his Lord.
  443. Feelings of loving sorrow
  444. mixed with longing for the Lord.
  445. Christ is drawing Peter
    with cords of love here.
  446. A threefold cord of a question of love.
  447. Christ - the goodness of God
  448. is bringing Peter fully back
  449. and it's painful. It's painful.
  450. This is Gospel surgery at its best.
  451. Someone said, "Gospel
    surgery's always free,
  452. but it's not always easy."
  453. Lee Dodd in our church weeks ago
  454. one Sunday morning speaking about Peter,
  455. he said, "It's as if Jesus is applying
  456. the healing ointment of His love,
  457. but it's going to sting a bit."
  458. Have you ever had a nurse
    or a doctor tell you that?
  459. Now this is going to hurt a little.
  460. The Lord Jesus' questions
    were stinging a bit.
  461. So Jesus is going for Peter's heart,
  462. and guess what, He's going to get it.
  463. He's going to get it fully back.
  464. Peter, where does your love
  465. stand with Me now?
  466. Because love is stronger than death.
  467. Love is stronger than a denial.
  468. Love is stronger than a failure.
  469. Love's stronger than you blowing it
  470. and not knowing if you can recover.
  471. Could Peter now truly say or not:
  472. If ever I love Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.
  473. Peter must face it and answer it.
  474. Do you really love Me, Peter?
  475. Not just with human sentiment
  476. and human love, but with divine love.
  477. The call to love Him.
  478. Secondly, verses 15-17.

  479. The Lord says to Peter,
  480. "Shepherd My sheep."
  481. "Shepherd My sheep."
  482. The Lord is not only restoring
    Peter's love for Him,
  483. He's restoring Peter's
    call to future ministry.
  484. But don't you think Peter felt inside:
  485. I'm done.
  486. I'm disqualified.
  487. How could I?
  488. Who could ever listen to me again?
  489. Who could ever trust me again?
  490. Isn't it profound in a way
  491. that the triple denier of Jesus
  492. becomes the Apostle to the Jews?
  493. I think that's pretty amazing.
  494. The Lord links the
    threefold call to love Him
  495. with a threefold call to
    now shepherd His sheep.
  496. If you love Me, feed My lambs.
  497. If you love Me, tend My sheep.
  498. If you love Me, feed My sheep.
  499. Now the word "tend" there
  500. means to act as a shepherd toward them
  501. in all that it means.
  502. In every way it means to shepherd
  503. and care for them, you do that.
  504. If you love Me, this is My
    love expressed through you.
  505. Tend the sheep.
  506. To feed means just that.
  507. Give them the rightful nourishment
  508. for spiritual health and growth.
  509. So, Peter's sermon at Pentecost
  510. is the fruit of this exhortation.
  511. 1 and 2 Peter is the fruit
  512. of this exhortation:
  513. Peter, feed My sheep. Care for My lambs.
  514. Two words used about the sheep here:
  515. The first one (sheep)
  516. is not the older, more mature sheep.
  517. It's the younger smaller sheep.
  518. They're not lambs, but they're younger,
  519. smaller sheep.
  520. Distinct from the older, bigger ones.
  521. Peter, you are to give special care
  522. to the smaller sheep
  523. who have growing needs.
  524. You love Me? You care for
    these smaller sheep.
  525. This is the word "lambs."
  526. My lambs - young, new converts.
  527. The word is only used in the plural form
  528. in the New Testament.
  529. These smaller sheep
  530. and even the little lambs -
  531. your love for Me involves your heart
  532. having endearment to them,
  533. tenderness toward them,
  534. care for them - loving, tender care
  535. of My sheep and My lambs.
  536. My young ones are of a
    special concern to My heart, Peter.
  537. And if you love Me,
  538. you take care of My sheep.
  539. I want them on your heart.
  540. Your love for Me is real and applied
  541. especially toward the care of My sheep.
  542. This says something that's major:
  543. Love for the Savior
  544. that translates into
    real love for His sheep
  545. is the first requirement of a pastor.
  546. Love for the Savior
  547. that translates into real
    love for His sheep
  548. is the first requirement of a pastor.
  549. For every Christian also
  550. toward their brethren,
  551. because we cannot love God
  552. whom we haven't seen,
  553. if we don't love the brothers
    and sisters we do see.
  554. Love Me, Peter!
  555. Shepherd My sheep.
  556. Third, v. 18-19.

  557. Die for Me.
  558. You're going to die for Me.
  559. When you were young,
  560. you went about wherever you wanted -
  561. you could go fish, you could come in,
  562. you could go wherever you want to,
  563. you were independent, you were free.
  564. When you're old, it's going
    to be a different story.
  565. Others are going to gird you
  566. and they're going to take you
  567. where you in the natural realm
  568. would not want to have to go.
  569. They're going to take you
    where you don't want to go.
  570. And John's commentary: This He said
  571. signifying to Peter
  572. what kind of death he was going to die.
  573. Peter's here called to be a martyr.
  574. Peter's crucifixion is affirmed
  575. in the early centuries
  576. by Eusebius, Tertullian, and others.
  577. And it's prophesied by Jesus here
  578. and it's commented on later by Peter
  579. in 2 Peter 1:14.
  580. "Since I know that the putting
    off of my body will be soon
  581. as our Lord Jesus Christ
    made clear to me."
  582. In two epistles, Peter is shepherding,
  583. feeding, tending to the sheep
  584. and the lambs in love as his last ministry
  585. before he knows where he's going.
  586. Called to die as the Lord died.
  587. Now we're all called to live unto the Lord
  588. and we're all called to be willing to die,
  589. and some will be called to die.
  590. But whether we live or whether
    we die, we're the Lord's.
  591. But Peter, this is in your future.
  592. So love Me, feed My sheep, care for them,
  593. and then, you're going to die like I died.
  594. God is glorified in the death of martyrs.
  595. If you've never read "Fair Sunshine,"
  596. get it and read it.
  597. Two ladies in that book -
  598. maybe they were both Margaret's -
  599. do you remember?
  600. One was about 60,
    one was a teenager or 20's -
  601. two Margaret's.
  602. They were caught
  603. by the persecuting authorities in Scotland
  604. for attending a church
    meeting or for owning a Bible.
  605. They took them out in the sea
  606. and the chained the older one
  607. out in the water
  608. so she would be drowned
    first with the tide.
  609. They chained the younger one
  610. in a little more shallow water,
  611. but it was strategic -
  612. so she would have to face
  613. and see her sister in the faith die first.
  614. And they died victoriously.
  615. Some are called to die.
  616. Peter's called to die here.
  617. Love Me.
  618. Feed My sheep.
  619. Die for Me.
  620. Fourthly, verse 22.

  621. Really, 21, "When Peter saw him
  622. (that is John) he said to Jesus,
  623. 'Lord, what about this man?'
  624. Jesus said to him,
  625. 'If it's My will that he
    remains until I come,
  626. what's that to you? Follow Me.'"
  627. Verse 23, "So the saying spread abroad
  628. among the brethren..."
  629. Here's bad hermeneutics;
  630. here's bad Bible interpretation.
  631. The saying spread among the brothers
  632. that this disciple was not going to die.
  633. So it went viral.
  634. Things could go viral in that day too.
  635. The saying spread abroad
    among the brethren
  636. that John wasn't going to die.
  637. He was going to live till
    the Lord comes back.
  638. "Yet Jesus did not say to him
  639. that he was not going to die,
  640. but He said 'if it's My will
  641. that he remains until I come,
  642. what is that to you?'"
  643. The fourth truth in being a disciple:
  644. Don't misunderstand the Lord's teaching.
  645. Don't misunderstand the Bible.
  646. They were guilty of bad hermeneutics here,
  647. wrong interpretation of one statement.
  648. And it's amazing that even
    though John clarified this,
  649. Augustine even into the
    4th and 5th centuries,
  650. Augustine said there were those
  651. in the Christian world that still believed
  652. John was somewhere in hiding alive
  653. and wasn't dead yet.
  654. Heresy is hard to kill.
  655. Heresy often begins right from Scripture.
  656. Deceiving spirits, misinterpretation,
  657. misunderstanding of Bible verses,
  658. listening out of carnal curiosity
  659. to bad teachers.
  660. I spoke to a Jehovah's Witness recently,
  661. in recent weeks,
  662. and I said I've got a question for you.
  663. Why is it that you don't believe
  664. Jesus was bodily raised from the dead
  665. even though the Bible
    clearly shows that He was?
  666. He was physical. They touched Him.
  667. And his answer was this:
  668. Well, He couldn't have been that
    way when He went to heaven.
  669. It had to be spiritual
    because the Bible says
  670. flesh and blood shall not
    inherit the kingdom of God.
  671. What a proof text of heresy!
  672. So we must take heed how we hear.
  673. We must take heed what we hear.
  674. We must understand and understand
  675. and be clear so as not to be misled
  676. or mislead.
  677. That's why John puts his commentary here
  678. so we won't misunderstand
    the Lord's teaching.
  679. Fifthly, v. 20-22.

  680. The Lord tells Peter:
  681. Keep your eyes only on Me.
  682. Now where do you find that?
  683. Well, notice what the
    Lord had said to Peter
  684. at the end of verse 19.
  685. "Follow Me."
  686. Follow Me - but what did Peter do?
  687. The next sentence says
  688. he turned and saw John.
  689. The Lord has said, "Follow Me."
  690. Peter turns and sees John.
  691. Peter is distracted about
    God's will for John.
  692. Think about it, here's this big context
  693. of the Lord restoring Peter in love,
  694. calls him again to shepherd the sheep,
  695. tells him how he's going to die,
  696. and then the Lord says, "Follow Me."
  697. Wouldn't that be enough for now?
  698. Well, apparently not,
  699. because Peter turns and looks at John
  700. and says what about him?
  701. What about him?
  702. Why did Peter do that?
  703. It may have been if he realizes
  704. he's going to die, he was close to John,
  705. he wonders is this his fate too.
  706. What are You going to do with John?
  707. What about John's future?
  708. And Jesus in essence said:
  709. What about John?
  710. Was I talking about John?
  711. Is My business about
    John's future your business?
  712. Or as we would say:
  713. This is on a need-to-know
    basis and guess what?
  714. What is that to you?
  715. Follow Me.
  716. See, we're called not to be
    distracted by others,
  717. and Christ called us -
  718. especially by those we love
  719. and are closest to.
  720. We're not to be distracted by others
  721. and their calling, God's will for them,
  722. their situations.
  723. And Peter was distracted
  724. with a viewpoint, an attitude,
  725. nosiness, meddling, wondering
  726. about what was not his business.
  727. How easy is it for people to become
  728. a distracting hindrance to
    our single-eyed devotion.
  729. Our minds can so easily be
  730. on other's path more than our own path.
  731. If John's future was
    Peter's responsibility,
  732. Jesus would have mentioned it to Peter.
  733. He did not say:
  734. Peter, here's your new commission.
  735. Love Me, feed My sheep, die for Me,
  736. and oh, here's information about John
  737. because you're responsible for him also.
  738. He didn't say that.
  739. Jesus restores the fallen Peter,
  740. reaffirms his calling,
  741. and has to rebuke the nosy Peter.
  742. Peter should leave all distractions alone
  743. because they weren't his.
  744. What is that to you?
  745. What business is that of yours?
  746. And how often do we need to hear this?
  747. Well, I don't think that church over there
  748. is quite doing right.
  749. What's that to you?
  750. You follow Christ.
  751. Well, I don't think they
    have the right view
  752. of which translation of the Bible to use.
  753. What's that? That's none of your business.
  754. You follow Christ.
  755. Well, I think they're too young
  756. to be going to the mission field.
  757. How much are we carnally curious
  758. about other people's issues
  759. when we haven't even
    fully dealt with our own
  760. and we aren't fully obeying Christ
  761. as to what He's shown us to do?
  762. Jesus declines to
    satisfy Peter's curiosity.
  763. It is no business of Peter's
  764. what's going to happen to John.
  765. Even if the Lord wills
    for John to stay alive
  766. even to His return,
  767. why would Peter even need to know that?
  768. He doesn't need to know.
  769. He doesn't need to know
    anything about John.
  770. How much do we need to know
  771. about God's purpose and will for others?
  772. Even those we're closest to?
  773. How much do we really need to know?
  774. Elders and pastors need to know.
  775. Church leaders need to know more,
  776. oftentimes for the protection.
  777. But generally speaking,
  778. how much do we need to know
  779. about God's business
    in other people's lives?
  780. What is that to you,
    O thou nosy Christian?
  781. Mind your own business.
  782. Keep to your own stuff.
  783. You know, one of the greatest examples

  784. of this mistake is Josiah.
  785. He reigned 31 years in Jerusalem.
  786. He became king when he was 8 years old.
  787. At 16 years old, the Bible says
  788. he began to seek the Lord seriously.
  789. He began to seek the God of David.
  790. And he began purging Jerusalem
  791. of idols and carved images.
  792. One of the best kings in Israel's history.
  793. And 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles
    gives his record.
  794. He kept the Passover in Jerusalem.
  795. He appointed priests to their offices
  796. and encouraged them in the
    service of the house of God.
  797. He put the ark in the temple
  798. that Solomon built.
  799. He cut down the altars of Baal.
  800. And he was present himself
  801. when his men cut those altars to Baal down
  802. the Bible says.
  803. He told the priests: Consecrate yourselves
  804. and prepare for your brothers to do
  805. according to the Word
    of the Lord by Moses.
  806. The singers, the sons of Asaph,
  807. were under Josiah's leadership in Israel.
  808. And the Bible says,
  809. "...No Passover like it had
    been kept in Israel
  810. since the days of Samuel the prophet."
  811. 2 Chronicles 35 summarizes Josiah's life.
  812. The rest of the acts of Josiah
  813. and his good deeds
  814. are written in the book of the kings.
  815. But you know what?
  816. You remember his major misstep.
  817. One big misstep cost him his life.
  818. He didn't apostatize
    and worship the Baals.
  819. He didn't love like Solomon
  820. loved a bunch of strange women
  821. and let them pull his heart away
  822. to false gods like Solomon did.
  823. What did Josiah do?
  824. He didn't mind his own business.
  825. He began meddling in
    affairs that weren't his.
  826. He began to pick a fight with a dog,
  827. but the dog didn't want to fight him.
  828. But he picked the fight
  829. and the dog had to fight him.
  830. 2 Chronicles says after
    Josiah prepared the temple,
  831. he heard about Neco, the king of Egypt,
  832. who was going to war with someone
  833. over near the Euphrates River.
  834. And it's not Josiah's business;
    it's not his battle.
  835. He doesn't have a bone to pick.
  836. Israel's welfare is not at stake.
  837. But he couldn't leave it alone.
  838. Josiah goes out to meet Neco
  839. basically to pick a fight
  840. when Neco wasn't coming to Israel.
  841. And the Bible says, "Neco
    sent messengers to Josiah,"
  842. and said this: What do we
    have to do with you, O king?
  843. What do we have to do with each other?
  844. I'm not coming against you this day
  845. but someone else.
  846. Listen, I'm in a hurry. Stop!
  847. Because God is with me,
  848. lest He destroy you.
  849. And here was Josiah's mistake:
  850. The Bible says, "Nevertheless,
  851. Josiah did not turn away from him."
  852. He did not listen to the words of Neco
  853. from the mouth of God,
  854. but instead he came to fight,
  855. and the archer shot Josiah
  856. and he died and was buried.
  857. And the Bible says all Jerusalem
  858. and all Judah mourned for Josiah
  859. and Jeremiah the prophet
  860. lamented his death.
  861. Neco was saying:
  862. What is that to you?
  863. You worship Jehovah.
  864. What is that to you?
    This isn't your fight.
  865. You're not called to meddle here.
  866. Watch meddling.
  867. A dear favorite preacher
    of mine said one time:
  868. Watch out for meddling.
  869. Don't meddle in what's not your business.
  870. Don't be concerned about stuff
  871. that's not for you to fix.
  872. You follow Christ.
  873. You stay focused on Him
  874. and don't let people -
  875. even those you love the most -
  876. distract you from steadfast,
  877. single-eyed obedience.
  878. What is that to you, Peter?
  879. You follow Me.
  880. And that's the final thing
    the Lord said to him.
  881. Not only: Love Me,
  882. feed My sheep,
  883. die for Me,
  884. mind your own business,
  885. but "Follow Me."
  886. And the Lord says it twice here:
  887. Follow Me.
  888. And then at the end He says,
  889. "You follow Me."
  890. Just follow Me.
  891. Love Me,
  892. care for My sheep,
  893. follow Me, feed them, love them,
  894. watch out for them,
  895. don't let anyone mess with My bride,
  896. shepherd My sheep.
  897. Follow Me.
  898. And in closing, let's just think about

  899. a couple of thoughts here.
  900. First lesson is this:
  901. Restoration for a backslider -
  902. restoration for a failed disciple.
  903. Restoration and not defeat
  904. is Christ's purpose for every one of us.
  905. You may have come here
  906. out of a recent fall, out of defeat.
  907. Maybe for months, you've
    been in bad state.
  908. Disappointments, failures,
  909. secret things.
  910. The Lord Jesus Christ says to you
  911. this morning in your condition:
  912. Love Me!
  913. I want your heart's love.
  914. Love Me.
  915. Forget the past.
  916. I'll clean you up.
  917. I'm going to have those shepherd you,
  918. care for you.
  919. You may be the weakest lamb.
  920. Just love Me. That's where you start.
  921. Just love Him.
  922. Just love Him.
  923. Restoration, and not defeat,
  924. is God's purpose for every child of God -
  925. the younger sheep
  926. down to the weakest lamb.
  927. Secondly, failures don't disqualify you
  928. necessarily from future growth
  929. and future ministry.
  930. Some failures will put people
  931. properly out of the ministry.
  932. But that's a small category, isn't it.
  933. But failures - the worst of them -
  934. don't disqualify you
  935. from being restored in the love of Christ,
  936. from following Him,
  937. and being a blessing to love others
  938. because you love Him.
  939. Thirdly, it's the Gospel alone,
  940. the love of Christ alone for His own
  941. that is the healing remedy for anyone
  942. who has fallen.
  943. Backslider, I'll say what
    Spurgeon said one time.
  944. He lifted up his voice and said
  945. there's a backslider here today.
  946. Come back home.
  947. And I say that to you today.
  948. Backslider, love Him.
  949. Follow Him.
  950. How deep the Father's love for us!
  951. Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus.
  952. Let's sing that.