Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: Bless this Mess
Week 5 – Peter II
PDF file for printing: 07-08-18
- Who is your favorite Bible character, and why?
- Practice our memory verse for this series together as a group.
“Be very careful, then, how you live– not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
- “God is not at work creating the circumstances you want, He is at work in your circumstances producing the you He wants.” Share about a circumstance in your life that now in retrospect you realize God used to help you grow.
- Last week, we looked at Peter and discussed fear. Here are three things that fear tends to do to us:
- Destroys my awareness of God.
- Ruins my understanding of myself
- Undermines my ability to live into the purpose God has for me
As you look over that list, which of the three do you identify with most? Explain.
- How does your relationship with God speak into that?
- Today, we will look at the Apostle Peter again, but this time we will focus on the topic of “Failure.” Read John 21:15-19:
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.”
16 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.”
17 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. 18 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.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
What do you notice in this passage? What questions come to your mind?
- Pastor Dale shared a funny story of how he broke the finger on a mannequin recently while shopping with his family. Share about a funny experience of failure in your life.
- All of us have moments of more serious failure in our lives when we feel inadequate and unsure of ourselves because of a failure. If you’re willing, share a more serious moment of failure out of your life.
What Peter teaches us about Failure
- The story of Peter denying Jesus three times is familiar to most of us. Read the passages below and then talk about how you think Peter felt after these events took place. In particular, imagine Peter’s feelings when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to Peter.
Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.
He replied, “I am not.”
Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”
He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.
What factors do you notice here that may have impacted Peter toward failure in these situations?
Peter saw his failure as:
- Name some “failures” that people might mistakenly think are irredeemable. Talk about why people might feel these things are beyond redemption.
- Satan wants to make us feel shame over our failures. What tends to happen in a person’s life when they are feeling shame?
- Community destroying
- Why does failure often drive people away from Christian community?
In contrast to Peter, Jesus demonstrates that our failure is a redeemable opportunity to remove our shame and welcome us back into community.
- Go back and read John 21:15-19 again. Note that Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Why do you think Jesus asked this three times?
- What other details do you notice about how Jesus sought to bring healing to Peter’s failure here?
- Read Romans 8:1:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus….
Why is it possible for there to be no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus?