Feb 2nd, 2020
Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 63 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes, or so, we are going to be looking at repentance.
Repentance is one of those things that is widely misunderstood and therefore avoided by some and offensive to others. It’s a word that conjures up images of shaving your head and joining a monastery.
Let’s take a beat to talk about Peter the Apostle. I haven’t said it in at least a month, so here goes, Peter is my favorite of all the apostles. Peter’s the guy who when he met Jesus, he had been fishing all night and caught nothing when Jesus gets into his boat and asks him to push out from the shore so Jesus could preach to the crowd. Jesus then tells Peter, the professional fisherman, who once again, has been fishing all night and caught nothing, to drop his nets. You can imagine the scene as if in a movie, the jacked fisherman, rough around the edges who gives in to the character who seemingly doesn’t know what they’re talking about just to get them to shut up. When he dropped the nets though, so many fish were caught that the nets began to break, they had to call over their partners with their boats and couldn’t hold all the fish. Peter then dropped to his knees in his boat at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with Him, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” Jesus’ reply was to invite Peter to give up catching fish and follow Him to catch people.
When the disciples were sailing across the sea and saw a ghost out on the choppy water then realizing it was Jesus, Peter’s the guy who thought, Oh, if that’s Jesus then I should walk out on the water to Him. He did it, then took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink needing to be rescued by Jesus because he had, to quote Jesus, “little faith.” Even though he’s the only one of the twelve with enough faith to step out of the boat.
Peter’s the guy who was the first of the disciples to discern by divine inspiration that Jesus was the Messiah. Something that Jesus praises him for, to only turn around and compare Peter to Satan when he forbids that Jesus should be crucified.
Peter is the guy who Jesus warns that Satan has not only drawn a target on his back but that he will deny Jesus three times.
Peter is the guy that got overzealous about protecting Jesus and cut off a man’s ear.
Peter is the guy who follows just inside the shadows as the illegal midnight trial of Jesus is carried out.
Peter is the guy who denies even knowing Jesus on three separate occasions during that sham of a trial.
Now we went through all of that to highlight how relatable Peter is.
Who amongst us believers didn’t approach Jesus with a certain amount of trepidation because of our sin? Who amongst us believers hasn’t had a time where we felt like a faith giant only to realize the moment was fleeting and start to sink? Who amongst us believers hasn’t had some mind-blowing revelation only to then feel defeated when we fall back into the ways of our old self? Who amongst us believers hasn’t felt like Satan has literally drawn a target on our back and that it’s highly likely we're going to crumble under the pressure? Who amongst us believers hasn’t hurt someone else when we got a little too zealous defending our own brand of Christianity? Who amongst us believers hasn’t hidden in the shadows hoping no one will notice how inadequate we are? Who amongst us believers hasn’t missed the opportunity to stand up for our faith and felt like we had denied Christ? We all, us believers can relate to Peter in very real ways.
In John 21:15-17 CSB, Jesus says, “ When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said to him, "you know that I love you." "Feed my lambs," he told him.  A second time he asked him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," he said to him, "you know that I love you." "Shepherd my sheep," he told him.  He asked him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved that he asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." "Feed my sheep," Jesus said.”
I can only imagine what was going through Peter’s mind while Jesus is talking to him in this passage. But, I bet it was something like this; Jesus says, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” In a flash, he’s taken back to the courtyard outside that midnight trial of Jesus as a servant girl approaches him and says, “You were with Jesus the Galilean too.” He denies it, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Then he replies to Jesus, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus tells him to feed His lambs. Again, Jesus asks, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter is taken back to that night standing out by the gateway of the property and a woman tells those around him, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene!” A second time Peter denies it, “I don’t know the man!” Then he replies to Jesus, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus tells him to shepherd His sheep. Again, Jesus asks, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter is for a third time back in that night confronted that he must be one of Jesus' followers, his accent gives him away. A third time he denies knowing Jesus. Grieving the three instances he replies to Jesus, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” “Feed my sheep,” Jesus instructs.
Repentance isn’t this big grandiose show, it’s recognition of misstep and turning course. For Peter, this misstep was denial when he was supposed to be Pastoring. What is it for you?
You see, repentance is deciding to walk the correct course, right here, right now, today. Not tomorrow, not next week, today. We only have today, tomorrow doesn’t exist, next week doesn’t exist, only today.
I like the way John the Baptist puts it best. When the Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized, not for true repentance but because it had become popular with the people, John told them to, “produce fruit consistent with repentance.”
At its base, the word means to think differently. Live a life consistent with thinking differently than what led you astray before.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”