Have you ever messed up SO much that you felt it was hopeless? Peter may have felt like that after denying that he even knew Jesus - especially after declaring earlier the night before that he would be the faithful one. Just. So. Humiliating. Right? We've been there, too. Nicole and Sharon share from their hearts about how God is able to restore the broken, and that there's no such thing as too broken for God to fix! Join us and rejoice! God restores.
Want to become a Podcast Partner? We'd love to have you on our team! You will get exclusive emails from Nicole and Sharon and our deepest gratitude if you are led by God to become a monthly donor. Seriously, even a $3 a month donation would be such a help. Go to DONATIONS tab on this website and sign up today. Write that you are choosing to be a Podcast Partner in the Comments section. Thank you!!
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. Spring is on its way and with it the very special Easter season. We hope this Easter series will refresh you as you stop for a little moment and listen in. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.
Welcome to episode 38 Restoring the Broken. Well podcast listeners, how was your Easter? Drop us a line over @sweetselah.org/podcasts. We love hearing from you. Sharon and I are going to look at a wonderful example of restoration today in scripture and then also talk about Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the wonderful fact that he is coming again. When Jesus comes again, a great restoration will occur, but even now in our daily lives, he is in the business of restoring us when we break. Sharon, any examples of that from your own life?
Hey Nicole, I have a fun example of restoration, but it’s not about a human.
Yeah, it’s about a cat. My parents don’t own any pets because my brother is allergic to animal fur, and they like having him in their house. But they found this super skinny and bedraggled cat in their yard one day and they had no plans of adopting her. In fact, they knew so little about her that they thought she was a him and they called her Fred.
They just couldn’t stand to see her ribs stick out though so they went out and bought some cat food. Those little cuties. They got cat food for her and got out some water and left it there for Fred. So cute. So for months that cat would skittishly eat and drink, as long as it was absolutely quiet, but like jumpy, you know, eat and then look around like really scared and if my folks showed up, she was gone like a flash.
Just super scared. But flash forward to now a year later, Fred, who is now Frieda, cause they discovered he was a she. She has her own cat house in their garage. One of their neighbors built it for them. It’s like this two-part cat house where you know, to keep it warmer you go in and you turn a corner.
Oh how sweet.
Frieda’s living it up, let me tell you. It’s on the second floor of the garage because heat rises. So they have this like little loft over the garage so that’s where Frieda lives and she trots down the garage stairs every morning when she hears my mother for her morning strokes and hugs.
Because now Frieda demands attention. She’s fat. She’s beautiful. She purrs and my mom is not allowed really to leave until Frieda has had her due.
Oh, how sweet.
So, they definitely restored Fred to a beautiful, healthy cat.
What a transformation!
She’s a gorgeous cat. She’s like a tortoiseshell and just beautiful. They adore her. They talk about her all the time. It’s so funny, but she can’t go in the house because of my brother, but you know what I mean? Fred was starving. So I feel like Frieda’s living in the garage and doing just fine.
I think so.
So, you know, talking about restoration and moving away from the cat, this is what God does for us. We’re bedraggled. Our ribs are showing. We’re skittish and jumpy and scared of our own shadows when we’re broken down by life or by our own sin.
We’re just a mess, but God restores and we can come to him and purr and get hugs. Literally, you know? So anyways, that’s the story I thought of. How about you? Anything come to mind?
Oh, I just two weeks ago found a new show on Netflix. It’s called, The Repair Shop or something, but it’s all about these different craftspeople who restore old broken furniture and old precious family heirlooms. And they’ll take like this old leather chest and there’ll be a leather maker and she comes in and puts new leather in. I mean, it’s so fascinating. They took an old watch that had survived the Holocaust and was sewn into this woman’s clothing. And it was her only possession she owned through all of that horrible time. And so her grandson had it, they took it apart and cleaned it because she had it inside her clothing for four years. So they gently cleaned it and repainted the numbers. It’s so fascinating to see something go from like throw away to something even better than it was before. You know, I just love that, but it takes someone with skill and caring enough to do that.
Yes, and patience.
Cause you have to work very carefully with broken things and you have to find the right… It’s just, it’s such a cool show.
Oh, I love that. And the analogies are just flying out of my brain.
Yeah, I know!
You have to work patiently with broken things. You have to take your time with them.
You have to care and take the time.
Yeah. But you bring them back. There’s a verse in the Bible that says ‘a bruised reed he will not break’.
I love that. You know, you think a reed, who cares, right?
Even a bruised reed, God restores. He doesn’t throw us away. We are not garbage. We are worth the patience and the time that it takes.
It’s just so wonderful. So, okay. Well, we’re going to talk about Peter and his restoration today. First of all, though, that denial, that awful denial.
I mean, we’re still talking about it.
The poor guy, three times no less, of Jesus. You know right while Jesus is watching him, when Jesus could have used a faithful friend. Right after Peter couldn’t even stay awake to pray, he’s denying Jesus. So he must’ve felt totally awful.
Shamed that he bragged like less than 20 hours before that he would never do such a thing as desert his Lord. And then he went and did it and Jesus saw him or heard him do it according to one gospel account because it says Jesus looked right at Peter after the third denial as a rooster crowed.
Could you imagine that moment?
I, I know, I know. And the look in Jesus’ eyes. I mean, Jesus is not condemning so it was probably a look of love, but it made Peter cry. Peter wept, bitter, bitter tears, and Peter had been told that, Jesus had said, and then Jesus also said, remember he said, and I’ve prayed for you that after that, you know, you’ll be restored. So Jesus prayed for Peter knowing that he was going to go through this awful time.
What a wonderful God he is.
He is. So what do you think was going through Peter’s mind? He’s denied Jesus three times and Jesus clearly saw it and had predicted it. After the crucifixion and even after the resurrection, you know, what was Peter thinking, do you think?
I think if I was Peter, I just think he must have felt like a huge failure or even a fraud after claiming that he would die rather than leave Jesus’ side. And then to deny he even knew Jesus to a young girl first and then the two others, I feel like those must have been some very dark days for him.
Yes. Yeah. That’s interesting. It was to a young girl, wasn’t it? It wasn’t even like a scary soldier with a knife.
Right, going, ‘if you claim you’re with him, you’re coming in here next’.
It was just a young girl.
It was just a young girl and still he still did it. Oh my goodness. I can’t imagine. I think he probably would have kept to himself a little bit. Like I don’t really want to talk to the other disciples, although maybe they didn’t know. I think John was nice enough not to tell.
I hope so.
It was just Peter and John.
But Peter would have wrestled with his own guilt and Satan, the accuser, would have been working overtime.
Oh, for sure. And now that Jesus was risen what did that mean? And did…? I don’t know, he must have been wrestling with his place in all of this now, too. If I failed him, then what can I do going forward?
Exactly. I was, I was going to be the one that led.
You said, ‘on this rock I will build my church’, you know? And I failed him big time in his hour of need. So.
Yeah, and Peter was always the bold, kind of out-there, say it first, take charge, kind of guy.
Yeah, he was. Yeah, it must’ve been awful.
Well, we all might’ve been pretty sure Peter was kind of out of the running for person in charge. Right? I don’t know that we would have put him in charge. We might’ve let him stay on in the background, but I doubt many of us would have wanted Peter running the show after that failure, you know? That’s human nature to go, well, you kind of blew that one.
You blew it. You had your chance.
You’re not quite ready for leadership. But not Jesus. Jesus had a different plan. So we’re going to take a Sweet Selah moment pause and read all about it, where we are going to hear what happens. So Nicole, can you start us? And then we’ll just rotate verses. It’s such a wonderful story. I love it.
So we’re reading from John chapter 21 verses one through 19. Verse one says, “Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened”.
“Several of the disciples were there, Simon Peter, Thomas nicknamed the twin, Nathaniel from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples.”
“Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing;. ‘We’ll come too’, they all said. So they all went in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.”
“At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was.”
“He called out, ‘Fellows, have you caught any fish’? ‘No’, they replied.”
“Then he said, ‘Throw out your net on the right 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.”
“Then 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 into the water and headed to shore.”
“The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore for they were only about a hundred yards from shore.” Wow.
“When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them, fish cooking over a charcoal fire and some bread.”
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught’, Jesus said.”
“So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to shore. There were 153 large fish and yet the net hadn’t torn.”
“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.”
“Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.”
“This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.”
“After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these’? ‘Yes, Lord,’ Peter replied, ‘You know, I love you’. ‘Then feed my lambs’, Jesus told him.”
“Jesus repeated the question. ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ Peter said, ‘You know, I love you.’ ‘Then take care of my sheep;’ Jesus said.”
“A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love 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’.”
“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.”
“Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, ‘Follow me’.”
I love that story.
There’s so much in here. I can’t wait to talk about it.
I know. But what stands out the most to you about Jesus’ method of restoring Peter?
Oh, he’s so gentle, Sharon. He’s so gentle with him. He went out and found him.
He did. He sought him out and he took care of his physical needs first. He fed him, he served him fish and bread over a nice breakfast, over a charcoal fire. It sounds great.
I know. Yeah.
And he started to get him thinking by asking him several times if he loved him. And it’s funny, it’s the same amount of times that Peter denied Jesus too.
He asked him three times.
That must have been quite a moment for Peter. It says he was hurt by the third time. And I wonder if it hit him then, if everything kind of like, Oh the third time, the three denials. I don’t know.
I wonder if it did. You know, it’s definitely significant that it was three for three.
It really is. And it must have struck him because of the repetition, repetition sticks in our brain as well.
And he was given an opportunity to declare his love for his savior. Jesus made sure that that was available to him. So I love that, I really do.
It was a beautiful moment.
And I just want to laugh at the “Throw out your net.” They’re a hundred feet from shore. They’re not even out in the deep.
Right, where they normally fish.
There should not have been that many fish there.
Right? And there it is again, just like when they first met Jesus all those years ago. And he said, “Throw out your net”. And they’re like we’ve fished all night. There won’t be fish and bam, there were tons of fish. Here we are again. And there’s all this fish and I could just see Jesus laughing and smiling and they’re going, Whoa, we know who’s standing on the shore now.
Right. But none of them asked him, they knew.
It was like, ‘only one person we know can do that with a fish’ thing, you know?
Right, it’s so amazing.
Don’t you think it’s interesting? I would have thought Peter would have held back in the boat.
But he didn’t.
He was the first one there.
He’s still impetuous.
First one out of the boat.
So I guess he really wanted to be close to Jesus, even though he must’ve felt terrible about what happened.
I wonder if he really craved that restoration that maybe he was hoping that Jesus would give him.
Maybe he was. Yeah. Yeah. He models for us what we should all do. No matter how ashamed we feel the right direction is to run toward God. Not away from him.
It is always wrong to run away from God. Always. Talk to Jonah. It did not go well for him, that whale thing? No.
It didn’t turn out the way he wanted.
Right. You always run towards God. And Peter really did. He ran towards Jesus and Jesus who had broken bread with them and, and poured out the wine, you know, at the last supper and served them by washing feet, is serving them again, isn’t he?
I loved that. He served them breakfast. “Come and eat,” he said. He had everything ready for them.
All set and ready.
That’s just so beautiful. They’re probably hungry.
He served and he took care of their physical needs.
Yes. And then he restored Peter.
He modeled serving. It’s just beautiful.
It really is. And then he talks about the fact that, let me see if I can find the part. “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.” So he’s also basically preparing Peter, he’s looking at this, this eager man who says, I love you. I love you. I will feed your sheep because basically with the ‘feed, my sheep’, Jesus is saying, you’re going to have authority again. I want you to be a shepherd again.
You’re feeding sheep. Jesus sees that eager face. And he also has to say, but you know what? It’s going to cost you. It is going to cost you big time.
And John explains it. He says, ‘Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God’. So he kind of warns Peter first.
I’m telling you to feed my sheep, but there’s going to come a day basically where you’re going to face something similar to me, where you’re going to go where you don’t want to go. And then he says, “Follow me,” again. So it’s almost like Peter has that second chance to go, “I don’t think so”.
But he doesn’t.
Isn’t that the coolest?
That’s amazing. That would have been pretty tough too since Peter seems to be this bold and fairly young and strapping, you know, guy, to hear that you will be old and others will dress you. So that must’ve been very humbling for him to hear. So to hear that and then to say, “Yes, I will follow you”. I think that was a huge moment for him.
To dedicate his whole life to God.
And know that it would end badly.
You know, that’s so funny. It’s not funny. That’s the wrong word. It’s so fascinating to me. So many times, you know, we, we oversell Christianity. When you accept Christ, you live in perfect peace and everything will be lovely. Oh no, you could be tortured for your faith.
And belonging to Christ does not mean it will end well for you.
It just doesn’t. Well, it will ultimately.
Here on earth, right?
We just talked about victory last week. But on this planet, we are not promised that the reward will come in this life. God, doesn’t say, “If you follow me, you will just have this really nice house and you’ll die in bed in your sleep”.
That’s not a promise anywhere. In this world, we’re going to have trouble. So we should know that. And to, to speak truthfully about this Christian life is to acknowledge that we’re not in charge and God can do with us what he knows is best for his kingdom and his glory. And in the end, when we meet him in heaven, we’ll hear that “Well done”, but it might not be fun in the middle.
It really might not. And Peter, tradition says, was crucified upside down. He was going to be crucified like Christ and he, I just love this, he said, “I’m not, I’m not worthy to die the death he died”.
“Can I be crucified upside down?” And so they did, you know, and I wonder if he remembered Nicole, the restoration day that we’re reading about right now and remembered Jesus’ words someday it’s going to happen. And if that didn’t give him some confidence, like, well, I knew this was coming.
So it might have.
Right. Do you remember that moment? Yeah, I think it would have.
So well after this Peter really is kind of the head disciple. He’s the one that preaches at Pentecost. Something we’re going to look at next week. And he’s the one the others look to. The restoration really is complete. So I’d like to take us to Zephaniah. Why not? Chapter three, for a moment. Because there are some amazing verses here that speak to how Jesus cleanses us from sin and shame. How he restores us basically. So Nicole, would you read it? These verses were written to God’s people in exile. They were broken and shamed by their captivity. I mean, they’d chosen another gods and the result had been capture of their country and the destruction of their temple. Yet even here, God speaks through Zephaniah to a time of restoring.
Zephaniah 3:18-20, “I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals. You will be disgraced no more. And I will deal severely with all who have opposed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones. I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. On that day, I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction among all the nations of the earth. As I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord have spoken”.
I love that God continually offers new chances to his people. He wants us close. He loves to restore. It’s not a burden for him. He loves making things new. It’s just wonderful. I love that passage. What stood out to you the most in that promise?
It’s so complete. He mentioned every part where they were disgraced or oppressed or mocked or scorned and everything was taken away from them, their name, their home, their everything. And he goes through and lists everything and how he’s going to restore that and restore that. It’s just so beautiful. It’s so complete.
He restores everything.
You get a home again.
You get, you get your shame gone and honor again.
All the things.
A good name. Yeah. It’s just so amazing.
It is. I love that he has a home for us someday and that place for us. I’ve prepared a place for you. Can I come see your place?
I know! I would love it, I hope it’s close by.
I do too!
I think it will be.
Seriously. I just can’t even imagine. But a God who delights in creating like our God does, it’s going to be fabulous.
Oh, I know. I try to explain it to my girls. They always ask me about it and I’m like Oh guys, it’s going to be so amazing. The best thing you can think of in your mind.
And then go better.
And then go better because we can’t imagine how wonderful it would be.
Right, yeah, right. There could be a whole new dimension and different colors.
I know. Oh yeah.
And music and I don’t even know, but Whoa.
It’s going to be great.
It’s going to be great. So, all right. Well, we’re going to look at one more part of scripture here as we finish out our Easter section this week, and next. We’re going to turn to Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. I’m going to read about it in Acts 1:4-11. Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’s life. And at the beginning of his new book, Acts, which details the life of the early church, Luke actually starts it with Jesus ascending to heaven. So that’s why we get it in Acts. So starting at verse four, here we go. “Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised. As I told you before, John baptized with water. But in just a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit’. So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom’? He replied, ‘The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times and they are not for you to know, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses telling people about me everywhere in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go’.” You know, Nicole, I find it so interesting that the disciples kept asking Jesus, so now is it time to have that great big battle? Can we get our swords now?
Do we get to get rid of the Romans now?
Oh, they were so ready.
I know they were. It sure wasn’t time because Oh, look at us. We’re still waiting. Why do you think the wait’s been so long?
I wish I knew. I think we’ve all been asking that since Jesus went up in that cloud. I think, well, it’s set up here that you’ll be my witnesses telling people about me everywhere and to the ends of the earth. So I don’t know. I think he still has work, he must have work for us to do still.
He sure does.
That there are still people that haven’t had a chance to hear about Jesus yet.
I know. He wants to wait till everyone has a chance to receive him.
Yeah. I think it’s his great grace again, the Bible in First or Second Peter says he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. And that’s why the wait is long. Because as long as there’s one person still living on planet earth, who would accept him, you know, he’s holding, he’s holding back judgment because he loves, you know, and that’s why we have a long wait because our God loves. Isn’t that sweet?
That is so sweet.
It really is.
It makes the waiting a little bit easier.
Yeah, it does.
He waited for me.
He waited for you to hear, you know? He’s waiting for all of us.
For all of us to know, till the time comes when there’s no more ears to hear.
And sin is so rampant and, and children are being so abused that he draws his sword and he says, we’re done.
And that’ll be a scary day.
Yes, it will.
It really will. Well, we’ve talked about the restoring of people like Peter and the eventual restoration of God’s kingdom when Jesus returns and makes all things new. We serve a God who can take a broken world and make it new again. We serve a God who can take a broken person and make them new again. This is a cause for great rejoicing. He fixes us. Someday there will be a new heaven and a new earth all restored and wonderful. And we are to look eagerly for that day. And to watch for Jesus’ coming as he left from the clouds to earth so he will return. I mean, sometimes just looking at the clouds, it’s like, are you coming?
I know. Is that the one?
And if he may indeed be coming soon, we need to be bold about sharing the gospel because once he comes the time to make decisions will be over. And the time for judgment will have arrived. Nicole, could you close us with that glorious passage in Revelation 21 that talks of the future we who know him have to look forward to? I think it’s the best way to end.
Yes, absolutely. Revelation 21:1-9: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared and the sea was also gone. And I saw the Holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, like a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, look, God’s home is now among his people. He will live with them and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, look, I am making everything new. And then he said to me, write this down for what I tell you is trustworthy and true. And he also said it is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life and all who are victorious will inherit all these blessings. And I will be their God and they will be my children”.
Well friends, it’s awfully nice to know that we serve a God who doesn’t throw us away because we’re broken. Whatever shame you carry, whatever hurts still dig at you and wound you, bring them all to Jesus. He is in the restoration business. Meet with someone who knows the Lord and knows his word and who can help you get to a place of restoration. And no matter how bad things may get here, let’s remember that someday even our planet will be new again, restored by our wonderful, wonderful God. Let’s pray. Oh Lord Jesus, we look forward to the day when you come riding on the clouds to bring final judgment and then restoration. Thank you that there is going to be a time when every wrong will be made, right. Where every tear will be wiped from the eyes. Where we will be made new. Where the beginning of eternity will happen, things that we can’t even imagine. Lord God, how I praise you and thank you for this sure hope we have that this is the very first chapter in a book that goes on forever. We love you Lord. And we say, Maranatha, come Lord Jesus, come. Amen.
Amen. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode. We love hearing from you. So pop on over to our website and say hello. You can find us @sweetselah.org/podcast. We also are so grateful for reviews and donations to help keep this podcast going, visit sweet selah.org/donations and help us out if you can. Next week is our final Easter season. Episode 39 is called Living Out Our Purpose and Sharon, I can’t wait to talk about this one. I want my girls to know that God made them on purpose for a purpose. Join us for a great discussion next week and may God bless you with a great week this week.
Speaker 1 (28:45):
We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. Sweet Selah Moments is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast, including show notes can be found at sweetselah.org and at wordradio.net. Thank you for joining us.hank you for joining us.
You can download and print the transcript here.