God of the Second Chance
04/04/21 – 04/07/21
God’s Forgiveness Is Intimate
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 04/06/21
Read John 10:1-18.
God’s second chances are not only irrevocable; they’re also intimate. Jesus might invite everyone to come, but He speaks with each of us personally. He cares for every one of us in a special way.
Jesus said, “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. . . . I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:2-3, 14).
The Good Shepherd knows His sheep by name—every last one. Each one is special to Him. Each one is loved by Him.
When the women came from the tomb and told Peter that the angel had mentioned him by name, the fisherman discovered for himself just how good the Good News really is. He was not just “one of the disciples.” He was Peter. Jesus wanted to communicate with him personally.
Peter, of course, had two names; he was also called Simon. Jesus had made much of his friend’s name when Peter made his good confession: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), to which Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (vv. 17-18).
In the Greek language, “Peter” is Petros, which sounds a lot like the word for “rock,” petra. Jesus was saying that Peter’s good confession is the solid rock on which His Church would be built. And it was the name Peter that the angel used. In Jesus’ eyes, Peter was still the same man who made that good confession. There was still a place for him in the work left to be done.
Sometime after the women delivered the angel’s message, there was a private meeting between Jesus and Peter (see Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5). We don’t know what Jesus said to His friend, but the encounter must have been an experience of overwhelming love and forgiveness.
Likewise, Jesus wants to speak intimately with us. That’s why He sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, to communicate His love, grace, and Truth.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You know me completely. There is nothing about me that would surprise You—and so I can know I am accepted as I am. What a relief! What a precious gift! May I live for You, my Savior. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen
“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:2-3).