Sermon for May 1, 2022

Okay…now wait in Jerusalem, got it?

Luke 24: 44-49 and Acts  1:4-8 NIV

Luke 24:44–49 (NIV): 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Same author, Dr. Luke, a close follower of Paul, seems to implement something twice, so it must be worth revisiting.

Acts 1:4–8 (NIV): 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

However, most of his closest disciples got impatient:

John 21:1–19 (NIV): 21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

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

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he 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.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

Things to think about:

1) Until the day of Pentecost (50 days), I know that this is confusing:

a) Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday is 49 days, however, according to Jewish tradition, Passover ended on Saturday, so we should count from Saturday and not from Sunday.

b) This is only the third time he appeared to his disciples during those 50 days and apparently, a long time since his second visit with them when he told them to “GO TO JERUSALEM AND WAIT THERE!” 

c) His disciples are nowhere near Jerusalem when Jesus visits them the third time.  They are more likely in Galilee instead.  Ever wondered why?

            i) They were outcast now in Jerusalem, the Jews do not want them around

ii) The Roman Guards were paid off to say that it was the disciples that took Jesus’ body, so the Roman citizens did not trust them.  There is a giant slanderous smear campaign going on in Jerusalem.

iii) They felt they needed a safe place to be, mostly with family.  But things weren’t getting any better.  They are fishermen who are catching no fish!

So, things got tough for them, and Jesus is nowhere to be found, lets go back to the way things were before we met Jesus.  This is what Peter accepted into his own heart.  Now, let’s reread John 21 towards the end where Jesus brings on the conviction:

John 21:15–19 (ESV): 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” *(Underling mine)

But wait a minute, isn’t this the Peter that said this before and Jesus called him out for it?

Matthew 26:33-35

New International Version

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Mark 14:29-31

New International Version

29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice[a] you yourself will disown me three times.”

31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

John 13:37-38

New International Version

37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

Even though Jesus has appeared two other times right in front of Peter’s eyes, this did not change the heart of Peter.  In fact, it is he that comes up with the idea to go back to fishing and over half of the disciples follow him!

In fact, even though Peter wept and was grieved by the third question.  Twice Jesus asks Peter if he had God like love, did Peter have that type of love towards Jesus?  However, when Jesus the last time asks Peter if he loved Jesus like a brother, that is when Peter is grieved.  And it continues further into this conversation.  Look at this:

John 21:20–23 (NIV): 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

It appears that there may have been a little jealousy between Peter and John and since it is John that writes this Gospel, it appears that John knew that Peter had an issue with him.  Peter did not love some of his “brothers”. 

Jesus to Peter:

            1) Why did you not wait for what I had promised in Jerusalem?

            2) Why did you lead half of my disciples back to Galilee?

            3) Why, Peter, do you think your way is the best way?

4) Why are you so concerned about all these things, like money, and food, and acceptance?

5) Why don’t you believe that I will take care of you?

6) Even now as you can understand Scripture as I have breathed on you for understanding and you see the plan of God, why are you here, frustrated, and angry, not catching a thing and in your heart (perhaps), blaming everything on me?

7) Why am I here in Galilee, flesh, and bone, trying to convince you once again?

8) Go to Jerusalem if you have one seed of faith within you and see what is coming!

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