Already Forgiven, Restored & Commissioned
Back in 1992, a cargo ship carrying twenty huge containers of little rubber duckies, encountered a violent storm on the way to Seattle and all 20,000 of the rubber duckies fell overboard into the ocean.
To this day, people continue to find this bleached white rubber duckies as they wash up on the shore of –the West Coast, East Coast, and now even on the Atlantic side of England! The toy company still give out $100 gift certificates to anyone who discovers one!
Peter probably feels like he is lost at see spiritually and in his heart. After all, he denied being a disciple of or even knowning his Lord during his passion. Peter probably thinks he can't be forgiven or that Jesus will "lower his status" as a disciple.
Jesus sets up the whole situation as a reminder to Peter of his calling to be a disciple and to fish for people found in the synopitic Gospels.
Jesus wants to assure Peter that:
1. He is already forgiven
2. He relationship with Jesus is secure (based upon the Risen Lord, not Peter's performace)
3. And that Jesus has important work for Peter to do.
(Do you love me...Feed, Tend/Take care of, Feed my Sheep)
Truly, the Good Shepherd knows his sheep.
Hemingway Story about Paco
How he saw an advertisment in Spanish newspaper that read, "Paco, all is forgiven, Papa! Meet me at noon Wednesday at the Montana Hotel. Hemingway reports that around 800 Paco's showed up!
Like Peter, we have all failed Our Lord. There have been times when each of us has denied him and denied his call upon our lives. We all need to be reminded that we are already forgiven and that our relationship with Jesus is sure and that Jesus has important work for us to be doing.
So what will it be for you?
Do you want to float through your life, going wherever the current takes you having only a formal or cordial relationship with Jesus?
Peter thought his relationship with Jesus was over, because he had denied being Jesus’ disciple with his words and with his actions.
But the good news is that it takes a lot more than that to push God away!
Most people, like those helpless rubber duckies, only move in the direction that the current takes them
During one simple meal of real food, Jesus not only restores Peter, but also commissions him to the work of the church: Feed my lambs, Take care of my sheep, Feed my sheep - Follow me (live as my disciple).