You are probably familiar with the apostle Peter’s story. He was a fisherman until he was called by Jesus to laid down his net and be a fisher of man, a preacher of the Gospel.
It happened shortly before the crucifixion. Jesus was explaining to the disciples what would happen to Him in a matter of hours. When He said that He was going to be taken away, Peter guaranteed to Jesus that he would stick with Him, he would even lay down his life for Him. Jesus responded saying that in that very night, before the rooster would crow, Peter would deny Him three times (John 13:31-38).
In fact, later that night, before the sunrise, Peter denied to know Jesus three times (John 18:15-27), exactly as Jesus had anticipated.
When that rooster crowed, Peter must have felt awful. He realized that he let Jesus down, and Jesus knew it all along.
So when Peter met Jesus again after His resurrection (John chapter 21), we can only imagine the mixed emotions he felt, extreme joy knowing that his Lord was alive, but not knowing what consequences he would face for his denial.
Jesus just asked him: “Do you love me?”
Three times Jesus asked him the same question, three times Peter responded affirmatively. For each denial, an affirmation of love. And with each affirmation, Jesus requested this of Peter: to take care of His sheep and feed them. The love Peter affirmed he had for Jesus he should also show towards Jesus’ sheep.
That was the price required by Jesus for Peter’s sin: love. Jesus called Peter to love.
You may not have a leadership call like Peter had, but you are still called to do the same today. Whatever you or I did, whatever sin we committed or wrong we did to Him, He asks us to love Him and to take care of His sheep, our brothers and sisters, with the same love we have for Him.
He enabled us to love like that. He showed us how to do it. He, in fact, loved us first.
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:19-21)