Scripture: John 21:1-25
This Sunday we read the story of Jesus’ breakfast on the beach with Peter. Scholars call it the rehabilitation of Peter. Here we see Jesus re-claiming and re-commissioning Peter as the leader of the church.
If you take the gospels seriously you ask questions, and sooner or later one of those questions has to be–why Peter? Why does Jesus choose this arrogant, overconfident, impulsive, brash, cowardly, also-he-has-some-good qualities fisherman in the first place? Surely there were more gifted, more worthy, more promising people (ahem–women!) around. Why Peter? Especially after he doesn’t pray in Gethsemane, dices off a guy’s ear, denies Jesus after his arrest, deserts him during the crucifixion and doesn’t believe at the empty tomb. Peter doesn’t get it. There isn’t a mistake Peter doesn’t make. There isn’t a chance he doesn’t blow. So, why Peter? What exactly are Peter’s qualifications? What does he do right that’s so amazing it balances out all of the wrong?
Well, I’ll give you a hint. We call Jesus’ Kingdom the Upside-down Kingdom, because everything here is exactly the opposite of what we expect. Peter’s qualifications are his failures. They are the measure of God’s love, and yours are too.