John Barnett Discover the Book Daily Devotional
<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Oct. 12, 2007

  • 2007 Oct 12

Lessons Peter Forgot That We Must Never Forget

Conclusion Part 3 continued from October 11th



It was the miracle of the cock crowing at that exact moment that also reminded Peter of God's Word; but the cock crow signaled that a new day was dawning, for after all, that is what the rooster’s call means each day.


Peter had a new day, a new beginning of hope because he was remembering and trusting in what Jesus had said. It was not a new day for Judas or for the enemies of the Lord, but it was a new day for Peter as he repented and wept bitterly.

God has promised that “a broken and a contrite heart” God will never turn away (Ps. 51:17). Help was on the way; God’s plan was unfolding.


Peter first received a special message from the angel on Resurrection morning which encouraged Peter (Mark 16:7), later that day Jesus Himself appeared to Peter and renewed his fellowship with Peter (Luke 24:34). And then on the shores of Galilee where Jesus had first called Peter, He returns to restore Peter’s call and to re-commission him for ministry (John 21).

Let’s go now to the final lesson in John 21:1-24 as Jesus promises us a life of new beginnings and offers us forgiveness and no condemnation. It wasn’t just Peter that Jesus had to restore, it was all of them. But Peter is the one we want to especially remember. This lesson is the most detailed

  • Jesus wants us to know when we serve in the energy of our flesh (vv. 2-3).

What would ever prompt men who just witnessed the greatest event in the history of the Universe ( Christ's Resurrection) to go back to their “old life”? It was their flesh. Peter was frustrated, he was uncertain what would be his future after his failure—so he said I am going back to what I know best. He forgot, or maybe was trying to forget the day he left his nets (Matthew 4:20). What ever his reason, Jesus again knew their hearts and was going to renew that call and draw them away from serving in the energy of the flesh.

  • Jesus wants us to know how empty are the labors we do in the energy of our flesh (vv. 3-5).

Before He furnishes the abundant supply, we must first be made conscious of our emptiness. Before He gives strength, we must be made to feel our weakness. Slow, painfully slow, are we to learn this lesson; and slower still to own our nothingness and take the place of helplessness before the Mighty One. The disciples on the sea picture us, here in this world; the Savior on the shore (whither we are bound) Christ in Heaven. How blessed, then, to behold Him occupied with us below, and speaking to us from "the shore!" It was not the disciples who addressed the Lord, but He who spoke to them![2]

  •   Jesus wants to give us His direction for our lives (v.6).

These men had fished all their lives, yet had they toiled throughout that night and taken nothing. But here was the Lord telling them to cast their net but once, and assuring them they should find. Was it not He, by His invisible power, that drew the fishes into their net! And what a striking line is this picture of Christian service. How He tells the servants that success in their ministry is due not to their eloquence, their power of persuasion, or their any thing, but due alone to this sovereign drawing-power. [3]

  • Jesus wants to pour out His blessing upon all we do in His Name and for His glory (vv. 12-13).
  • Jesus restores Peter and shows him the only motive for ministry Christ accepts is LOVE. (vv. 15-17).

Remember fearful Peter who got caught in water over his head and cusses and swears that he didn’t know Jesus, and then Jesus turned and looked at him? Devastated Peter slips out into the dark to weep the bitter tears of failure, but Jesus comes looking for Him and gives him forgiveness. That is just what He does for each of us when we fail Him!

  • Jesus has chosen the timing and the manner of our death (vv. 18-19).
  • Jesus reminds us that we look forward to His Coming—not death! (vv. 20-24).

Each one of us at some point in our lives, will miserably fail the Lord by yielding to some temptation and sin. Soon after that sin we will hear (in one way or another) “the crowing of the cock.”


At that instant the accusing voice of Satan will ring in our minds, telling us that we are finished, we are useless, pleasing God is hopeless, and our future has been destroyed.

But that is never God’s message to us. As Peter learned, so we need to know. Our God is a forgiving God, a compassionate God, a God who loves us no matter what we have done.

Peter’s restoration was so complete that he could charge the Jewish people of his own city who knew him and many probably knew what he had done with these words, “But you denied the Holy One and the Just!” (Acts 3:14, nkjv)

Peter could point that sin out to them because he knew his similar sin was already on Christ, the guilt taken away, the penalty paid, and the record against him removed.

Peter did not have a copy of 1 John 1:9 to read, but he had already experienced the truth of Christ's promise in his own heart.


Every time we open to the Gospel by Mark we remember that in one way or another, all of us too have stumbled. And for each of us, Peter’s triumph by God's grace is an incredible source of encouragement to trust in our God of the new beginning!


Special Appendix


What lessons can we draw from the way Jesus trained, shaped and used Peter in the Gospels, Acts, and his two Epistles?

Jesus RENAMES Peter.


Jesus wants to manage our IDENTITY.

John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).

Peter was a crusty crass fisherman with a foul mouth. Depart from me he said, so Jesus changed him. He was a new person, he had a new identity. He wanted to please Jesus with all his strength. Has that ever happened to you? Who is shaping your identity? Paul said – either the world squeezes us into its image, or we let Christ's Word squeeze us into His Image. The choice is ours; one we make one day, one page, and one verse at a time!


Jesus RESCUES Peter.


Jesus wants to manage our FUTURE.

Matthew 14:27-30 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”


Jesus REFOCUSES Peter.


Jesus wants to manage our AMBITIONS.

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”


Jesus REBUKES Peter.


Jesus wants to manage our FLESH.

Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”


Jesus REMINDS Peter.


Jesus wants to manage our MINISTRY.

John 21:5-7 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.”6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.


Jesus RESTORES Peter.


Jesus wants to manage our FAILURES.

John 21:15-17 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.


Jesus REFRESHES Peter.


Jesus wants to manage our SECURITY.

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

[1] These pointed adapted and drawn from Luke 22 in Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.

[2] Pink, John, pp. 321-322.

[3] Pink, John, pp. 321-322.




For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit

More Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett Articles