Restoration - The 3 Step Biblical Model
Did you hear that about mega-church pastor Perry Noble was fired due to alcoholism and other unnamed things? He is supposedly "disqualified" for ministry. Fortunately, Jesus Christ restores the "disqualified" in three ways as seen in the Bible in John chapter 21. These principles apply to mega-church pastors and to regular people like you and me.
- •The BackstoryPeter, one of Jesus' disciples, had messed up big time. He publicly turned his back on Jesus to his face and to other people. In the midst of all the commotion, he assaulted law enforcement by cutting off a guard's ear. Think about it. Peter, one of the first mega-church pastors, completely lost it. He publicly denounced God and committed assault. Talk about being disqualified. So what did Jesus do?
- •Step 1 - Abundant BlessingJesus gave Peter an abundant blessing. Shortly after the crazy events of Peter's epic fail, he went out fishing but did not have any success. Peter must have been devastated about his recent actions. A man (Jesus) called out from the shore to tell them to cast the net on the other side. They caught so much fish they couldn't haul it in. Jesus gave Peter an abundant blessing as a declarative statement about his love for him. God does good things to lead people to repentance (a changed mind).
- •Step 2 - Restored FellowshipPeter then realized the man on the shore was Jesus. He must have been overrun with deep emotion because he totally jumped in the water and started swimming to meet Jesus. Was there a reprimand waiting for Peter? Was there an accountability program waiting for Peter? No. Jesus was cooking breakfast over a charcoal fire. They sat down and ate. A hot meal around the fire signifies the restoration of the fellowship.
- •Step 3 - Empowered to ServeThen let's get down to the heart of the matter. "Peter, do you love me?", Jesus asked. He asked this question not once, but three times. Each time Peter answered "Yes Lord, you know I love you," and each time Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep." Jesus is personally telling Peter that it's time to get back to work. It's time to rise again. It's time to shake off the failure. It's time to fulfill his destiny.
- •TakeawaysWhat does this mean for you and me? It means that nothing can separate us from the God's love. No matter the depth of your failure, we have a radical grace that we freely enjoy because of Jesus Christ. The word "disqualified" is weird for me because our theology says we were disqualified from birth. Who of us has the audacity to deem this person or that person exempt from God's grace? Follow Jesus' example of restoration: bless people abundantly, serve them a hot meal, and empower them to serve.