John 21: Shame & Restoration

Read John 21:15-19 »

I can’t think of many things that are more shameful than having to admit to your failings in front of a group. Much less a group that you made grand and bold promises too. This is what we see happen to Peter in John 21

Peter had declared in front of the disciples that he would never deny Jesus. In fact, he had declared he would die for Jesus before denying him! John 18:15-18 and 25-27 show us that Peter’s promises and commitments had fallen short. He had failed in a most spectacular way. He is hiding in his shame by doing what so many of us do, we go back to something that we are good at, that we feel confident in. Peter went to fishing; though after a night without any fish, he must have been feeling even more shame (A professional fisherman who can’t catch anything?!). Jesus comes to Peter to wipe away his shame, and to restore him. Jesus asks him a series of questions in front of the other disciples that work to reinstate Peter and help him to see the purpose for his future. Jesus asks him three time if he loves him. When Peter says he does Jesus tells him to “feed my sheep”. On the third time Peter was grieved, because he knew Jesus was referring back to his denial. The other disciples were there witnessing this event and were seeing how you eradicate shame from your life. Shame leaves when the failure is brought into the light, when it is forgiven, and when we can move beyond shame into God’s purpose for our future.

What are the area(s) of shame in your life that haunt you, that you can’t seem to escape?

Focus internally for a moment, intentionally thinking about those areas. They are probably hard to think about even though likely they quickly jump into your mind. Jesus wants to free you; he wants to take your shame away. He wants to do for you what He did for Peter. Jesus is right there with you, wanting to meet you where you are at. Jesus wants you to face your shame, the events or the choices that caused that shame, and bring you freedom.

Pray right now, ask Jesus to bring you freedom from your shame. Specifically pray about the areas of shame and ask God to lead you toward healing and freedom.

Now you need to tell someone. One of the most difficult parts of healing is bringing our shame into the light and refusing to hide it anymore. This doesn’t mean you stand up and share it with the entire world, but find a person or two whom you deeply trust and share your shame with them. Let them help you walk along the process of healing and freedom.

God has a purpose for your life. God loves you. God is with you.

Have a wonderful week.