Peter is someone who stood out amongst Jesus’ disciples. He was very quick to react, did not spend a lot of time thinking, easy to waver, emotional, but had a leadership spirit. Peter along with James and John experienced special things often that the other disciples did not have a chance to. Peter not only experienced good things in his life but also failures and faults. The height of this came when he denied Jesus three times.
In the midst of his failures, Peter regretted the things that he had done and he grieved because of it. After Jesus was put on the cross, Peter returned to his old profession as a fisherman (John 21:3); but his encounter with Jesus after His resurrection altered the rest of his life on Earth. As Lord, Jesus loved Peter unconditionally without boundaries and even entrusted him with His sheep despite his failures and denial.
Jesus’ love has been tested, it is without boundaries and is able to restore all things. Someone who has failed in life can be restored and changed because of His love. Second chances for those who have failed are available through His love for us. We should not worry about our failures as they are not our finish line instead, it is the beginning of restoration and new opportunities. We can experience this second chance only when we have the right response towards our failures in the sight of God.
The first thing we must do in having the right response is to not suppress our longings for Jesus. “…Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea” John 21:7. At this moment, Peter disregarded all the fish that he had just caught as it was no longer important. More often, people continue to dwell in their failures because they tend to avoid the reality of their situation. We must be careful of the riches and temptations of this world that will suppress our longings for the Lord.
Secondly, we must admit our failures and be honest to ourselves and to God. Failures can bring pain and embarrassment in our lives. This is not something that we cannot cover through excuses or put blame on others. Our willingness to admit our failures in honesty is actually an opportunity for God to restore us through the works of the Holy Spirit. God’s love is not poured out to condemn and judge us because of our failures, rather it is His way to bring us back to His plan and His will for all of us. A perfect example can be seen through King David who once fell into sin and failures. In response, David immediately confessed and repented in front of God and to the prophet Nathan who reprimanded him in the first place.
Through all these examples, we are able to see that Peter received his second chance because of his right response. Pentecost took place not long after and Peter became a teacher of the Gospel. He also became an apostle of the Lord for the Jewish people. God always gives a second chance, if that person responds correctly a transformation will occur which will produce power and victory for that chosen person. God is able to turn your failures into victories for the sake of His glory. Amen.
Source: GBI Gatot Subroto’s Article, Jakarta