Sometimes we wish for a remote control with a giant rewind button. If only we could start the day, the conversation, or the relationship all over again, we would do it differently!
Peter longed for a second chance with Jesus. The unresolved shame of his denial gnawed at him. Jesus understood Peter’s shame and reconstructed the circumstances under which they had first met. The sea, the boat, the long night without fish—all were in place. Jesus called out from the shore and the nets came up overflowing. Peter got the message. Jesus was inviting him for a redo!
This second chance meant confronting the shame of his failure. Peter watched Jesus’ hands breaking bread just as they had that fateful night. The Master he had denied served him breakfast. Reliving those events must have brought all his shame to the surface.
Jesus finally asked the question Peter was dying to answer. Yes, his words had betrayed their relationship, but now his words attested that his love was true. But when Jesus continued to question Peter’s love, he began to lose heart.
How could he convince Jesus of his sincerity in light of his earlier failure? If only he could have another chance to prove himself true.
Jesus’ three-fold question was really an opportunity for Peter to counteract his three-fold denial. His three-fold commission was a restoration of Peter’s former leadership position. And His prophecy of the difficult road ahead was an affirmation that He did know Peter’s true heart: one day Peter would get the chance to prove his undying love.
Having confronted the cause of Peter’s shame, Jesus reissued His call to discipleship. Now their relationship was restored.