Hope for the Faithless

Read: John 21:9-19

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (v. 15)

My teenage son is a fan of the British sci-fi television show Doctor Who, a drama about a maverick (the “Doctor”) who travels time and space fixing the wrongs of the universe. In one episode, Clara, the Doctor’s companion, selfishly betrays the Doctor in an ill-fated attempt to save her friend. Surprisingly, the Doctor agrees to help her despite her duplicity. Stunned, she asks why he would offer his assistance after her deception, and he replies, “Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?”

The apostle Peter, when Jesus needed him the most, betrayed our Lord three times, denying that he even knew Jesus. How poorly Peter must have felt, buckling under the weight of his actions and realizing he had hurt his friend. And yet, Jesus—our Great Doctor—took the initiative to heal his rift with Peter. After a fish breakfast, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him, ending each exchange by affirming the call on Peter’s life to feed the people of God. And, after this discussion, Jesus ended the conversation where he began with the disciples: the simple admonition to “follow me.”

As fragile, sinful human beings, we are prone to betray the God that we love. However, what makes the gospel good news is the reality that God takes the initiative to restore us to right relationship with him. —Duane T. Loynes Sr.

As you pray, thank God for giving his Son to restore us to him.

About the Author

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Dr. Duane T. Loynes Sr. is a professor of Urban Studies and Africana Studies at Rhodes College. He resides in Memphis, Tennessee, with his wife Ericka and their son Duane Jr., and is an active member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).