Tell them You Love Them
"The disciples . . . and Peter."
Those few words, by the resurrected Jesus, standing at the tomb before Mary speak volumes about the matchless love of Jesus for his children.
Especially those, like Peter, who disappoint and even betray the Lord. The last person anyone in the world would expect Jesus to love is Peter. Peter failed Jesus. Peter humiliated Jesus publically. Peter made a colossal fool of himself.
But here is Jesus, running after Peter. Thankfully, Jesus runs after rebels. Thankfully, because I'm a rebel at heart and so are you. You might be a good church-kid like me, who rebels in private and specializes in looking Christian but acting like the devil. Or you might be an outwardly rebellious person who delights in sticking to authorities.
Jesus runs after rebels. Imagine when Peter first heard those words repeated by Mary. I imagine he said, "Mary, repeat that again. Did Jesus really mention . . . my name." And notice one thing. Jesus didn't use the word, "Simon", Peter's given name. He used the word, "Peter" which was the name Jesus gave.
Jesus still saw this fragile, failed disciples as Peter. He would be a rock of the early church. Through the Spirit, Peter would lead thousands to faith at Pentecost.
Are you a rebel? Are you running from Jesus? I want you to know that He's running hard after you. And he is still calling you by your new name. So embrace him.
Or maybe you've got a rebel in your family. A Peter that just seems to make all the wrong choices. Maybe you're an upset brother or sister. Maybe you're a youth pastor or parent. And you've just about had enough.
Do what Jesus did to Peter, His rebel. Tell that person that you love them. Make sure that the rebels in your life know that you love them, in spite of their behavior. You're acceptance of them isn't conditioned on their behavior.
Jesus offered unconditional love toward Peter, who had disappointed him, more than any child or parent or brother or sister will ever disappoint you.
Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at twitter.com/dandarling, or check out his website: danieldarling.com.