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Forgiven and reinstated: thoughts on John 21:15–25 

Forgiven and reinstated: thoughts on John 21:15–25 

Peter struggled with his denying his relationship with Jesus early on Good Friday morning.

Think of his bitter tears of guilt and grief. Think of his anxiety filled Easter morning run to Jesus’ empty tomb. Think of his frantic early morning swim ashore when he and his Galilean fishing buddies recognized the resurrected Jesus on the beach.

Peter was forgiven and reinstated

Read John 21:15-25 (tap here). There on that beach the Savior greeted Peter with loving welcome into his arms. More than that, he reinstated him as an apostle. He commissioned, “Peter, feed my lambs; feed my sheep.” 

Not only was there forgiveness for Peter, there was restoration.

We are forgiven and reinstated

The same resurrected Jesus reaches out to us who deny our association with him day after day, denials made in small and large ways. He offers us the Easter guarantees of forgiveness. He also recommissions us to live for him as we respond to his grace. To represent him, to be Jesus to the sin-broken people he brings into our lives.

David Powlison in Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives (New Growth Press) offers these observations:

The source of our reinstatement

You know where hope lies. 

One of the many ways God can bring good out of evil is by making you truly helpful to others who are struggling. Think about all you have to offer others. 

You know exactly what it’s like for them. You know the allure of the sin. You know the struggle (with guilt, with numbness, with anger , with regret ). You know where hope lies —in Jesus. 

The sharing of reinstatement

You can become that unique creation of God, a person who is simultaneously compassionate and clear-minded. In a small way, you can become the way God is toward you. He will use you in the lives of others because you are actually becoming more like him! 

Be alert for the opportunities you have to come alongside others who are struggling as you have.

Because of your experience, you will be able to challenge them with God’s truth and comfort them with God’s mercy in a way that few others can. 

God is able to redeem your life and make you into a person who loves him and reaches out to others with his love. When you come to God in confession and ask him for mercy, he promises that he will do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3: 20).