Job 1-3; John 21; Psalm 34
The final chapter of John ties up a loose end, yet it is no mere coda. It expresses the Life that was and is and shall be.
the story of the reconciliation of Peter grows out of that old story in the Garden – but the outcome is dramatically different.
Here, perhaps more than anywhere else in Scripture is the Clue. Here we see that the death of Christ is no mere ‘fixing that which went wrong’. Peter, like our forebears of old, chose to know him not. Not to eat from the tree of Life, but that of knowledge of Good and Evil – not identifying himself with Christ whose Word is Life, but choosing a life for himself. And there are no tears of remorse. There is just the plain fact of his denial, a seemingly closed door.
Peter is naked, and ‘heard that it was the Lord’, and grabbed for his figleaves. We are too alert to that Old story – we too hide for shame, as we have always done, since the beginning. But Jesus reveals this is something New, or rather an alternative path that was always present in creation – although for a while the path to it was barred by the presence of the Cherubim – by the Presence of the Living God Himself – the way to that Tree, Life is opened, and no one will close it.
The way of Jesus is extraordinary to us. There is no call for sorrow, to prove we are sorry so that we might be ‘forgiven’, but with an eternal watch on our future behaviour.
Peter expresses no contrition, only that deep deep shame in the Presence of the Living One which the One who Lives for ever has come to Heal.
Peter comes to Christ. Christ asks him the Only question that matters – do you Love me?
Do you Love Me?