5-10-15 “Reinstatement” Mother Sermon
Scripture Lesson: John 21:15-22 Sermon: ?God Reinstates You???Dr. J. Ben Sloan
There are things you may use once and throw away.? Such things are cheap and not very valuable.? Towelettes; baby diapers, bullets, fireworks, kleenexes.? Most things that you use once are not very valuable.? Things that last generally are more valuable than things that you can only use once.? Things that have a lifetime warranty are generally worth more than things that last for only 3 months.? A 30 year roof is worth more than a 15 year roof. ???? The relationship of mother and child is not one to throw away.? It is continually being remade with age.? Mother?s Day reminds us that once a mother always a mother.? There is only one original mother and it should not be treated lightly. ????? Mothers are the best, I think, at reinstating their children.? Mothers exemplify God?s love in their willingness to reinstate their own.? When Human love is at its best it points us to God?s love.? God longs for us to come back and love Him.? He longs to love us because He is full of love.? I want us to explore this in Peter?s life.
- WE ARE ALL PRODIGALS- Peter was a prodigal. He was the lead disciple. Peter denied Jesus at his arrest, ?left Jerusalem and went back to Galilee to go fishing. He wandered off into the far country- taking Jesus teachings with him.? Thought that was all there was to this Christianity thing- just the teachings.? He found himself paralyzed in the mud of guilt.? The prodigal son was in the mud with the pigs.? Peter wasn?t so bad, but just was sad.
Who has not wandered off?? Who has never sinned?? Who has never rebelled?? There are people, but not many.
How many times I have heard of a child who turned to their parents and say, ?I hate you!?? In Judaic Christian thought this has been a very evil thing- a sign of rebellion not only against the parent but against God.? It is, a prodigal statement- maybe THE prodigal statement.? It is a denial- similar to Peter?s. Yet it is something very common.? It is important for a young person to find space with their parent.? If a parent tries to absolutely control or smother their child- out of fear for them- rebellion is often the result.? Yet as there is hope for those who deny their mother there is hope for those who deny their God. ????? It is apparent that God used Peter?s denial to make Him a stronger person. When reconciliation happens, it is a sensitive- even hurtful thing. ?But it is wonderful.? Yet God uses it to strengthen us.
If you are dealing with a prodigal- remember that Peter was a prodigal.? Remember that all the disciples ran away.
- THE LIVING JESUS MEETS WITH US- This is not secondary. The agent of change is not our own will.
He extended grace to Peter- who denied him. Some have said that Jesus was being harsh here.? But Jesus did not openly bring up the denial.? His words ?do you love me? were not quite the same as the words asked of Peter ?do you know this man??? It was a step deeper.? Knowing is one thing, but loving is something else.? The question is not do you know about Jesus- but do you love Him?? That is our question- it is the question to every mother?s child.
He asked him three times- to correspond to three times of denial ?Do you love me?? Jesus did not just shake his hand and welcome him back- he didn?t just affirm Peter in his sin.? He didn?t scream and yell at him for his denial.? Peter?s restoration was purposeful.? It was undoubtedly hard for Peter to go through- but this reinstatement was a springboard for Peter. The resurrection helped transform Peter- but even after the resurrection- Peter went back to fishing.? It was by this lake- that Jesus called Peter one more time.? The next time we see Peter he was preaching the sermon at Pentecost and thousands came to Christ through a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit. ???? The ironic thing is Peter was one of the few who followed Jesus after his arrest- everyone but Peter and John scattered- ran away.? Peter still loved Jesus- but his words of denial didn?t match his heart.? When a child says, ?I hate you?- but still stays in your presence- it is a sign that there is still love deep down.
If Jesus meets with you- or with your prodigal (whoever that may be) they will be changed.? I?m not talking about know about Jesus or hearing about Jesus.? That is not transformative.? But meeting with Jesus and confessing real love for Him- after the crosses are through- that is life changing. Jesus does not just help us cope.? Our goal is not to simply cope with the problems and crosses of life.? Our goal should be to overcome the crosses- to transform the cross and the prodigal into the resurrection and a redeemed person.? Mothers, the best thing you can do for your child is to introduce them to Jesus and pray that they will confess their love for Him. ???? A very good friend of mine (I?ll call him Ed) was depressed.? He was very talented and smart.? But he was sad over leaving home and his friends to go to college.? He loved his mother and family dearly- to the point that he was having a hard time coping with going away.? He dropped out of school- went back home for a bit.? But when he got his courage together- and I do not doubt it took a lot of courage for him- he met Jesus at a Bible study.? He had been to church all his life- but now he professed his love for the living Lord.? This encounter changed his life forever.? Now his children and grandchildren are walking in the faith.? He goes to a local college campus every semester to seek out lost boys like he was- to bring them hope and a love of Jesus.? I wish we had more like him. ????? The question is not just do you believe- but do you love?? If you love Him- this will change you and change your world.
III. JESUS GIVES US A SECOND CHANCE- ?As a Mother gives a son a second chance.? There have been times I have not been so gracious- but I have been amazed at Kay?s grace and the grace of other mothers that I see.
The greatest mothers are not the ones who never have a tough time.? The greatest mothers are those who see their children through their tough times. The mothers of special needs children;? The mother of children who are sick physically, mentally, or spiritually.? But a good mother never gives up on her child- and wants the absolute best for that child.? The best mothers know when to hold on and when to let go.? But a good mother never lets go of their child in their heart and prayers. ??? When a child denies their mother and denies their family the mother still holds on in love- giving them every chance.? That was the way of Jesus with Peter, and that is the way of Jesus with us.
Mothers? Day in Syria is in March. It is celebrated by a signature ?Mothers? Day Cake.?? But this year in towns captured by ISIS, these cakes and the mothers? day celebration has been forbidden.? Thousands of Christians have left their homes- fleeing as refugees- now living in tent cities in Lebanon and Turkey.? In Norman Rockwell?s picture of Roosevelt?s Four Freedoms- freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom from of religion and freedom of speech- there is a mother-like figure in all of them.? But no mother in Syria can assure their child of these kinds of freedoms.? Leila took her children and fled minutes before the ISIS forces came.? (Based on report of World Vision); Now her children do not go to school- the school is gone.? They moved from a house to a tent with no electricity or running water.? If you have freedom to go out today- or to have flowers or food in celebration of Mother?s Day do not take it for granted, and remember the mothers in this world who long for the freedoms we have here.? Today- right now- we have been blessed, and we can be thankful.? To live a grateful life and to share out of that gratitude is a huge part of being a follower of Christ.? Peter?s denial is a sign of his fear overwhelming his gratitude and love.? The Prodigal?s running away with his inheritance is a sign of ingratitude.? For him, his relationship with his father was something he could throw away like a used up cup.? The good news is we may come back- to appreciate the freedoms and blessings we have with gratitude.