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Jesus and the Great Invitation


Notes: Sunday 10/03/2024


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The journey of spiritual formation in Christ can be seen as the invitation to become and live in the fullness of the design and desire that he had for man when he created us - to live a life of love - as it was in Eden, and as it will be in the future.





In Peter, we see a story of growth from the man who was once so rough around the edges,

stumbling and failing to now a highly respected leader, wise, bold, courageous and fearless in pursuing God’s plan for his life.


His life story reflects to some extent the different stages of the Critical Journey.


Identity “Follow Me”


John 1 42Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas

Wherever you might find yourself today, I want to encourage you that when you meet Jesus – he confirms your identity in him.


Perspective & Purpose


Matthew 16:13-17 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”



Perspective First – Jesus encourages/warns Peter that the revelation he had was from God and not his own intellect or brilliance. It was God’s perspective and not Peter’s – a lesson in humility and perspective and a reminder that it’s through humility that he reveals to us.


Purpose Second, between 1 and 3 years before this – Jesus gave him the name Peter – his new identity in Christ, but now, after a season of growth - Jesus speaks a new purpose over his new identity and then continues to grow him spiritually until he can fulfil it.


Correction


Matthew 16:21-23 21From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

22But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand (corrected) him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”


While Peter failed often, Jesus used his failures to teach him how to walk with God and his failures were not bigger than God’s plans for his life!


Gracious Invitation


Luke 22 – 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” 33Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” 34But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”


Imagine how Peter would have felt afterward and over the next few days as Jesus is swept away and crucified. His last moments with Jesus and how he had messed up so badly in each of them. How incredible is the love and grace of Jesus here. Jesus knew what a bad night Peter was going to have – Messing up no less than three separate times – the last of which was like a nail in the coffin! But before that night encourage him, once you have repented, Greek / Hebrew – once you have changed your ways, once you have come back to me – strengthen your brothers.


Wherever you are in your story and whatever is going on, know that the Jesus looks at you with open arms and extends a powerful, loving, gracious invitation to continue to walk with him.


Love


John 21 4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied. 6Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. 7Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped (threw himself) into the water, and headed to shore. 8The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. 9When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. 10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. 12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead. 15After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love (agape – total commitment and devotion) me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love (phileo) you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. 16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love (agape – total commitment and devotion) me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. 17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love (phileo – friendship/brother) me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. 18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”..


There was a new honesty in Peter; he no longer pretended to be what he was not. Pretence and arrogance were now gone. No longer would he claim to “know better than God.”


As you consider a journey of spiritual formation in Christ – know that he is extending the greatest invitation – one that sees you live a life marked by righteousness, a deep peace – free from anxiety, stress, insecurity, and one filled with joy. He has agape love for us, one that is unconditional and understanding of who we are. And if we cant love him as much as he loves us – despite our best or worst efforts – he looks at you and says, that’s okay! Let's start there.


What does this mean for your story and who you are becoming?




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