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The Hope of Restoration

That Ye Might Believe  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The director of a medical clinic told of a terminally ill young man who came in for his usual treatment. A new doctor who was on duty said to him casually and cruelly, “You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?”

As the young man left, he stopped by the director’s desk and wept. “That man took away my hope,” he blurted out.

“I guess he did,” replied the director. “Maybe it’s time to find a new one.”

Commenting on this incident, Lewis Smedes wrote, “Is there a hope when hope is taken away? Is there hope when the situation is hopeless? That question leads us to Christian hope, for in the Bible, hope is no longer a passion for the possible. It becomes a passion for the promise.”

For the Last year we have been on a journey that has taken us through the Gospel of John as we considered the theme “That Ye Might Believe”. We have studies how Christ took situations in the lives of the people he interacted with and turned their hopeless situations into moments of Grace where the hope of the Gospel shown brightly! This culminated in the last 3 messages where we looked at the Death, Burial and Resurrection and how Christ took that hopeless situation in the eyes of His followers and showed the Power of God’s Grace!
This morning, we will finish our Journey than began in eternity past in with Jesus being the Word that existed before time itself and manifested among men and brought life. We will finish this morning by looking at how the resurrected Savior, The Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world, brought healing and restoration.
In , we find the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, which was another name for the sea of Galilee. We do not know how much time has passed since Christ appeared to Thomas. We do know that Mark tells us in that Jesus was going to go before them into Galilee. As a matter of fact. Lets begin this morning by taking a look at
Mark 14:26–31 KJV 1900
26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. 28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. 29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. 30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. 31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
The passover meal was finished. Jesus tells his disciples that he would die, his followers would be scattered, but he would meet them again in Galilee after he had risen from the dead. This is where Peter speaks up. “Although all shall be offended, yet will not !.” And Jesus tells Peter that He would Deny Christ as well. And we have looked at this. How Peter was there, how he was questioned and each time he Denied Christ.
Now Back to our text. Peter is where Jesus said He would meet them. But I can’t help but wonder, what is going though His mind. He had vehemently stated that He would follow even to death, but had failed in his resolve and was right there with the others, scattered.
I wonder if He thought that now Jesus couldn’t use him. After all, how could Christ accept him back after what he had done. Perhaps this what was going through his mind while he was standing there with the disciples, looking across the water as the sun began to go down on the horizon. He saw some boats, and perhaps this reminded him of who he was before Christ had called Him. He looked at the other disciples and said “I go a fishing”. The others join him and they all got in a boat and went out to the sea.
Have you ever been here? Have you experiences the struggle in your heart, knowing that you have failed in your flesh, and now Christ could never use me.
But then comes the morning...
Have you noticed that often times in scripture when morning is mentioned, it brings with it the hope of restoration?
Psalm 30:5 KJV 1900
5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 92:2 KJV 1900
2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, And thy faithfulness every night,
Lamentations 3:22–23 KJV 1900
22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Then the morning of the resurrection and the hope that that brings.
John tells us that the fisherman were out there all night with nothing to show for it.
“But when the morning was not come, Jesus stood on the shore.”
He tells them to drop their nets on more time. They did and brought up 153 fish! John looks at Peter and say “It is the Lord” and Peter gets dressed and “Cast himself” Flings himself into the water to swim to Jesus.
They come to Christ - He begins to fix them breakfast and they spend some time fellowshipping around the fire and eating. Then Jesus Turns to Peter. I am not sure what Peter was thinking at this point, I know what I would be thinking. “Here it goes. Jesus is going to tell me how disappointed he is in me. How he had been right and I had rejected him and now He is going to reject me.”
But what happens is a beautiful account of Restoration as Christ takes the broken and battered peter and begins the process of Grace.

A Reminder of the Love Christ

First I want us to look at the question that Jesus pose to Peter. Do You Love me.
I have told you before that Greek is a very precise language. In the English the word love has lost its meaning because of the flippant way that we use it. We love our Kids. We Love our husbands and wives. We Love Football. We Love Chocolate Cake. We Love the fall time.
In the Greek there are 6 words that are used for Love and each speaks of something different. the 4 most common are Eros, Storge, Phileo and Agape.
Eros is self satisfying love. It involves passion and lust. This type of love uses others regardless of their feelings. This is a conditional type and is based on the fulfillment of the desires, This Love States, “I Love You because of what you can do for me”. This word is not found in scripture.
Then there is Storge. This is familial Love, like the love for a mother to a child. It is Natural affection and is found in the bible - but in a negative sense.
Romans 1:31 KJV 1900
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Romans 12:10 KJV 1900
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
2 Timothy 3:3 KJV 1900
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Each of these verse speak of the lack of natural affection - storge Love. In other words one of the effects of sin on this world is the loss of the close familial love that we should have. We can see this in the abortion industry. So while this is a strong love - it is not a constant and sin can blind from what we should naturally feel. This Love states, “I Love You because it is natural for me to do so”
The next two words are used in our text today. Phileo and Agape. Phileo is brotherly, friendship love (like Philadelphia) It is one that finds mutual respect and affection for each other. Phileo says “I Love You because You Love Me”.
And then there is Agape love - this is one that many of you are familiar with. Agape is self sacrificing love. It is the love that God has for us and the love that Christ showed the world on the cross. This Love States “I Love you whether you love me or not”
Now that our grammer lesson is over - lets look back at our text. Jesus asks Peter 3 times “Do You Love Me” Let’s replace the greek words in this conversation.
In Verse 15, Jesus said “Simon, son of Jonah, AGAPE thou me more than these?” Notice Jesus is asking for the highest form of Love from Peter, however peter answeres “Yea Lord; thou knowest that I PHILEO thee.” Peter says in effect - Yes Lord - I am your friend.
Then in verse 16 “Simon, son of Jonas, AGAPE thou me”? the second time Jesus asks for this self-sacrificing Love from his disciple, but again peter answered “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I PHILEO thee?” Again - affirming his friendship but not willing to go further.
But hen in verse 17 - Jesus says “Some, son of Jonas, PHILEO thou me.” Jesus in effect says Peter, are you sure you are my friend.” This cuts Peter deep as He responds “Lord - thous knowest all things, thou knowest that I PHILEO thee.”
What Jesus is doing is methodically breaking down the barriers in the life of Peter, He has the scalpel and he is cutting deep to expose the heart. He is restoring Peter - but first Peter must be at the point where he can be restored. Peter had seen what Agape love looked like. He thought he had it. He proclaimed his love and devotion only to turn and run with the others and then to deny. All the while watching Christ model what Agape love is to look like. He say the scourging, he saw the rejection, he saw the pain and the agony in Christ and heart “Father Forgive them”. He saw in Jesus everything that He was not, and now Jesus was calling him to be just that.
When Jesus begins restoration in the life of his children, many times it is by showing our weakness while reminding us of His power. It is by reminding us of His Unconditional, Undeserved Love. bringing us back to HIs Grace and there begin the healing. I wonder how many of have been here. We have failed, we have fallen and we have wondered. What can God do with me now. Let’s take a look next at Christ answer to Peter as He continues the process of restoration.

A Recharging to Serve Christ

Each time after Peter answers, Jesus came back with a command. In verse 15 He says “Feed My Lambs” In verse 16 He says “Feed My Sheep” and in verse 17 he says “Feed My Sheep” again a word study of these verse show us the calling that Jesus was putting on the life of Peter. When he Says Feed My Lambs - The idea is to lead the young lambs to safe pastor where they can graze. Then the Next feed my sheep he is speaking of being the Shepherd and guiding the sheep. Then the last he is back in the pasture grazing. This is not just the pastoral call to peter with the duties of feeding and protecting the church, it is a call to discipleship. The call to nurture and grow what is going on the life of people and help lead them into a deeper relationship with Christ.
Notice that Jesus first asks “Do You Love Me” - then commands “Feed My Sheep”. I Believe that a love for Christ is manifest in our lives as we pour out the love he has given us on his people. You see - did Peter understand what Jesus was asking when he used the word Agape. I think so - But I also think that after seeing what Agape love looked like on the cross that Peter knew he was not up for the challenge. But as we followed the ministry of Peter in the book of Acts - reading his letters and hearing the account of how He was matyred in service of Christ - I think Peter came to a realization. There was no capacity within him to Love the people of God the way he was being called to love them - and that was because the source of that love was not within him - it was Only in Christ!. If we are going to love the way he loves and serve him the way he wants us to serve him - we must quit looking within for the ability, the power, the Love and look to help who alone is the source of all we need to do what he has called us to do!
It is easy to allow the flesh to drain us, and distract us from the purpose that Christ has called us to.
We Serve as a Sacrifice -
Romans 12:1 KJV 1900
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
We Serve as an Example
Philippians 2:5 KJV 1900
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Philippians 3:17 KJV 1900
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Phil 3:
Philippians 2:3 KJV 1900
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
We Serve out of Necessity
1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV 1900
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1 Cor
Philipians 2:3

A Refocus to Follow Christ

Jesus tells Peter of his future and what manner of death he had in front of him, Then said two words. The same two wards that started these men on this journey in the first place. The same two words that Jesus had said to peter near this same place on the sea of Galilee 3 years ago.
Matthew 4:18–19 KJV 1900
18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
The same two words that Jesus tells each of us “Follow Me”. His Message had not changed. His calling had not changed. Jesus was calling them to continue to follow him.
Jesus had just finished telling Peter to shepherd and Lead his church and then says to follow Him. The lesson is easy. If we are going to make disciples as we have been commanded to do, if we are going to lead and model the Love of Christ it is imperative that we Follow Christ.
Many in the church say that they are following Jesus, but from the condition of many christians, I am not so sure this is the case. Instead of committing to follow Jesus, I think many have invited Jesus to follow them.
Philippians 3:13 KJV 1900
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
What does it mean to Follow?
I Read and account once that a group of navy seals were performing a covert operation, freeing hostages from a building in some dark part of the world. the team flew in by helicopter, made their way to the compound and stormed into the room where the hostages had been imprisoned for months. The room was filthy and dark. The hostages were curled up in a corner, terrified. When the SEALs entered the room, they heard the gasps of the hostages. They stood at the door and called to the prisoners, telling them they were Americans. The SEALs asked the hostages to follow them, but the hostages wouldn’t. They sat there on the floor and hid their eyes in fear. They were not of healthy mind and didn’t believe their rescuers were really Americans.
The SEALs stood there, not knowing what to do. They couldn’t possibly carry everybody out. One of the SEALs, the folksinger’s friend, got an idea. He put down his weapon, took off his helmet, and curled up tightly next to the other hostages, getting so close his body was touching some of theirs. He softened the look on his face and put his arms around them. He was trying to show them he was one of them. None of the prison guards would have done this. He stayed there for a little while until some of the hostages started to look at him, finally meeting his eyes. The Navy SEAL whispered that they were American and were there to rescue them. Will you follow us? he said. The hero stood to his feet and one of the hostages did the same, then another, until all of them were willing to go. The story ends with all the hostages safe on an American aircraft carrier.
When Jesus calls us to follow him, He is coming to us as one who has humbled himself, who has show us his Love for us, placed his arms around us and then whispers, “Follow Me”
When He called them to follow Him at the beginning it was a call to leave all they had known and walk with him. Learn from Him. Here - Christ calls for a refocus from Peter. A recommitment to continue the journey that began on these same shores.
And the call is the same today. Follow Christ.
Perhaps you are here this morning and realizing for the first time what this call means in your life. For you following Christ means turning to the Cross. Believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sin and is even now offering you the free gift of salvation - a Gift paid for by his precious blood - and all you have to do is turn to the cross - Admit that you are a sinner in need of a loving savior, Believe in the Word of God and the truth that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin, and Confess that need and begin this journey with us this morning of following Christ.
For those of us who have made that choice and Followed Christ through salvation, We must examine our lives - has our focus changed? Is the Love of Christ still what motivates us. The world wants nothing more than to distract us from the Path that God has called us to. Has his love for you been forgotten in the business of this world. When was the last time that you thought about the wonderful Grace that Christ showed, not just on calvary, but in the day to day, Morning by Morning promise of Joy and restoration as we serve him out of Love and depend on him for the Agape Love that we should be showing those around us.
This Morning let us be reminded of Christ love for us, Recommit to serving him and Refocus as we follow Christ in our lives.
Let us Pray
As Christ begins to speak with Peter He asked
Restoration to Service
Restoration of Commitment
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