Introduction: This past week I went to a wonderful Easter play at a
local Assemblies Church. The production was what you would expect
from a professional company – really first class. The quality of the
play allowed me to imagine being present during Jesus’ life and
crucifixion. It gave me better insights into those events. Not only
did the final scenes break my heart, but they impressed me again with
the incomprehensible nature of Jesus’ forgiving spirit. The
crucifixion, like nothing else, shows the depth of the evil of Satan,
the importance of God’s law and the incredible love and forgiveness
that God extended to us. Let’s get into our study this week and focus
on how Jesus treated sinful Peter!

  1. Peter – Unworthy I

    1. Read Luke 5:1-3. Why would Jesus want to get into a boat?
      (He was pressed by the crowd, and He wanted them all to be
      able to see Him and hear His teaching.)

      1. Was Simon (Peter) part of the crowd who came to hear
        Jesus? (It does not appear that he was. He was
        washing his nets.)

      2. Put yourself in Peter’s place. What would your
        initial reaction be to the crowd heading your way?
        (I see annoyance. You are trying to get some work
        done, trying to wash and dry your nets, and a crowd
        comes tramping through.)

      3. Does it seem that at this point Peter is a disciple?
        (No. Verse 2 tells us that “fishermen” left some
        boats on the shore. One boat belonged to Peter.
        Matthew 4:18-20 and Mark 1:16-18 have an abbreviated
        account of Jesus’ call to Peter. However, this seems
        to be the initial contact.)

      4. Now, the cause of the crowd asks to borrow your boat
        and you. You are Peter, what is your reaction?
        (Washing nets is boring. My feeling is that Peter had
        heard of Jesus and his initial annoyance with the
        crowd heading his way is now replaced by curiosity
        about Jesus. He probably likes being in the

    2. Read Luke 5:4-5. Tell me why Jesus told Peter to go
      fishing again – after Peter had fished all night? (I see
      several reasons. Jesus borrowed his boat. He is paying
      Peter back. Peter is a fisherman, Jesus is not. Jesus’
      approach to Peter is on Peter’s own business terms.
      Finally, Jesus had in mind proving to Peter that He is no
      ordinary teacher.)

      1. Why did Peter do what Jesus asked?

      1. What would be going through your mind if you were
        Peter? (An odd thing I have observed in life is that
        people will credit the statements of someone who is
        well-educated, but who speaks outside of his area of
        education. For example, a medical doctor who opines
        on politics. What does he know about politics? No
        more than anyone else. Peter could have logically
        said to himself, “I’m the fisherman here, what does
        this guy know about fishing? We just finished washing
        our nets. Why would I want to go out so I will have
        to wash my nets again?” Something about Jesus as an
        authority caused Peter to do as Jesus asked.)

    1. Read Luke 5:6-8. Turns out that Jesus was right. Why would
      Peter say, “Go away from me?” Why not say, “How would you
      like to go fishing with me every day?”

      1. Why would Peter start talking about his sins? (Peter
        knew this was a miracle and not a smart fishing tip.
        Since this was a miracle, Peter knew he was in the
        presence of someone who had a special relationship
        with God. Hence, Peter’s statement about being
        unworthy to be near Jesus.)

        1. Was Peter right? Was he unworthy to be by Jesus?

    2. Read Luke 5:9-11. Did Peter say he was afraid of Jesus?

      1. If you were in Jesus’ sandals, and Peter just got
        through kneeling and saying, “Go away from me, I’m
        sinful,” what would you have logically said to Peter?

        1. “You don’t need to kneel?”

        2. “Your sins are forgiven?” (Peter was really
          saying to Jesus, “I’m unworthy to be by you.
          Jesus responds, “You are not only worthy to be
          near, you are worthy to help Me in My work.”)

          1. What does this say about Jesus forgiveness
            of sins? His approach towards sinners?

        3. How could Peter be worthy of helping Jesus?
          (Worthiness was not a question of Peter’s
          station in life (which was low), but rather his
          acknowledgment of sin.)

          1. Did Peter actually repent of his sins?
            (Remember we learned last week that
            repentance means to “change your mind,”
            change your attitude. Verse 11 tells us
            that they left everything (including the
            big catch) and followed Jesus. Clearly an
            attitude change.)

  1. Peter – Unworthy II

    1. Read John 21:1-3. Let’s stop a moment and place this in
      time. The fishing story we just finished was when Peter
      was first called to become a disciple of Jesus. This new
      story takes place after Peter denied Jesus at his trial
      (see Luke 22:31-34, 54-62), after Jesus was crucified, and
      after Jesus rose to life again. How was the fishing now?

    2. Read John 21:4-6. Why would Peter take this stranger’s
      advice about fishing? (I’m beginning to believe that Peter
      would take fishing advice from anyone. It must have been
      an easy thing to throw the net on the other side, so they
      did it to humor this stranger.)

    3. Read John 21:7-8. Why did John (the disciple whom Jesus
      loved) recognize Jesus? (Something clicked in John’s mind.
      John had been at the first fishing miracle ( Luke 5:9-10)
      and this sure seemed similar.)

      1. When John announced Jesus was on the shore, what was
        Peter’s reaction? (He put his clothes on and jumped
        into the water to go to Jesus.)

      2. Why did Peter react the way he did? Remember he has
        denied Jesus, denied he even knew Jesus, right after
        boasting to Jesus that he was willing to die with Him
        or go to prison with Him. Why didn’t Peter say, “Go
        away, I’m a sinful man?” Instead, he came swimming to
        Jesus. (This shows how Peter’s attitude had changed
        over the years he had spent with Jesus. Peter
        realized that despite his terrible denial, Jesus
        still loved him and had unconditionally forgiven

    4. Read John 21:15-17. Why did Jesus ask Peter if he loved
      Jesus MORE than the others? (In Matthew 26:33 we read that
      when Peter promised Jesus that he would never deny Jesus.
      He said “Even if all fall away … I never will.” Peter
      was really saying that he loved Jesus more than the other
      disciples. Jesus is testing Peter’s presumption, and Peter
      passes the test by simply saying ( John 21:15) “I love you”
      — not, I love you more than the others love you.)

      1. Why does Jesus ask Peter this question three times?
        (In part because Peter denied Jesus three times.)

      2. Why did Jesus say to Peter three times to help take
        care of His flock [the believers]? (Jesus was
        publically restoring Peter to an important gospel

        1. Do you feel that you have denied Jesus in the
          past through your actions or your words? What
          does this story of Peter teach you about Jesus’

  2. Jesus Ultimate Forgiveness

    1. Read Luke 23:32-37. How do you feel when people make fun
      of you and laugh at you? How do you feel when people do
      not show you respect? How do you feel when people
      deliberately hurt you?

      1. How do you react if you have done nothing to deserve
        this bad treatment?

      2. When these things happen to you (or, if just one of
        these things happens to you) and you have the power
        to stop it or take revenge, what do you do?

      3. In verse 34 Jesus says to forgive these people. Do we
        read that they have asked for forgiveness?

      4. Do you agree with Jesus that His tormentors did not
        know what they were doing? (They certainly knew they
        were torturing and mocking Jesus. However, if they
        had known this was God, then I feel certain they
        would not have done this.)

        1. Is it a satisfactory answer to say they did not
          know that Jesus was God, and therefore this
          should be forgiven? What changes if they knew
          Jesus was God? (What changes is that they would
          refrain from mocking because of fear, not
          because of principle. I have a hard time seeing
          a reason to forgive based on the fact they were
          bullies – willing to mock and torture someone
          who they thought could not take revenge.)

      5. Can you imagine yourself in Jesus’ place and saying,
        without anyone asking you for forgiveness, “Father,
        forgive them?” (No. I am (you are) a million miles
        away from the incomprehensible love and mercy that
        Jesus showed to those bullies that hurt Him that

    2. Friend, have you hurt Jesus? Have you denied Him? Have you
      turned away from Him? If Jesus was willing to forgive
      those who mocked, tortured and killed Him, then He is
      willing to forgive you of your sins!

  3. Next week: Forgiveness and Guilt.