After the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him. Not once, but three times.
“The third time [Jesus] said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you” (John 21:17).
Peter is exasperated and possibly confused. Why does Jesus keep asking him the same question over and over again?
Tony Stark is a superhero called Iron Man. Maybe you’ve seen some of the movies. His company had made bombs, among other things.
Now, as Iron Man, he is battling a villain and sees a bomb coming at him—and he notices that the bomb has his company’s name on it!
Kevin Myers interprets the meaning: “What blows up in our lives usually has our name on it!”*
Perhaps Peter has looked into his past and sees his previous mistakes (like denying Jesus three times) and sees how they carry the potential to blow up the things that matter to him the most—things like his discipleship, Jesus’ trust in him, or perhaps even the friendship itself.
But no. Jesus welcomed Peter with open arms and even gave him a leadership role in his church.
Perhaps you too have made mistakes. Perhaps you also wonder if it is going to blow up in your face. Let’s not be naïve. Mistakes often have consequences, and those consequences can be felt for a long time.
But ours is a God of second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances…
Own up to your mistakes. But don’t be owned by them.
You are defined not by your past failures, but by the God who leads you forward in grace.
Ours is a God of second chances.
—New Video. This Sunday, April 30, 2023, I begin a new series at Westminster in Barrie on the most popular psalms. We begin with the “gateway to the psalms,” Psalm 1. Here is a video introduction I put together on the psalms in general to get us up to speed.
–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on May 1, 2023.
–*Kevin Myers and John C. Maxwell, Home Run: Learning God’s Game Plan for Life and Leadership (New York: Faith Words, 2014), 107.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.