Week 2: Confessions of a Guilty Gent

Peter (John 21: 10-19)

Oh God,

I am overwhelmed by shame and guilt! When I open my eyes, I want to cover my head with the blanket and stay that way. Not only am I mourning your death, and I am in shock by it all, but it was my fault! I know it was. I was the one who betrayed you in the courtyard by the fireplace.

I had three chances to stand up for you, fight for you, and even go down with you. Instead, I denied you. I was even scared of a lowly servant girl who asked me if I knew you. What was the worst they could have done? I would have had a chance to talk about you share your hope and message of love. Instead, I hunched over the fire, hiding my face.

This guilt is heavier than anything I have ever felt before. In the past, I have been looked down upon been disrespected. It used to make my face burn and my stomach drop. But it was nothing compared to this feeling. I wish I were dead.

I thought I was so great. We were going to conquer the world, rule, and show others what we were capable of, what we were capable of. But look at us now. So scattered. I am no good anymore. I am useless to you. I better go back to fishing if I can even do that anymore.

Your Guilty Gent

Peter, The Rock,

I know you are ashamed and embarrassed. I saw the tears and anguish in your eyes as the rooster crowed. You are correct that you should not have been embarrassed by me or afraid of death. But I did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

I told you that I would suffer many things and die. Don’t you remember when I was in all my heavenly glory on the mountain top? I told you then. When we headed into Jerusalem, I said I would be mocked, scourged, crucified, and rise again. I know you didn’t understand it, but I was trying to prepare you.

I know you feel overwhelmed by your sin, but remember, I have forgiven them all. I will be merciful to you and remember your sin no more. You have called on me, you have humbled yourself, you are crying out in prayer and seeking my face. I hear you, and I will forgive you.

I will take your mistakes and give you a second chance. That’s why I came. So confess who I am, and I can build something extraordinary on that confession!

Your Faithful Father

(John 3:17, Mark 8:31, Luke 9:43-45, Matthew 10:17-19, Psalm 65:3, Ephesians 2:8, Hebrews 8:12)

What is your natural tendency to hide or deny when you feel guilty? Why?

How does Satan use guilt to keep his people even more in bondage? What promise releases those bonds?

Read the interaction between Jesus and Peter after Jesus’s resurrection in John 21: 10-19. This interaction happens by a charcoal fire. What did Peter do by a fire in his confession? How does Jesus redeem our worst moments?

John 21:10-19

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 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. 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. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

 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.”

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.”

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. 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.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”