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RESTORATION THROUGH COMMUNITY

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RESTORATION THROUGH COMMUNITY

Scott Ingegneri

I know for some people the word you're about to read is like a Christian curse word, but I’m going to write it anyway! COMMUNITY!

Disciples of Jesus Christ are present in community.
 

The story of Jesus and Peter is the most intimate and personal of Jesus' post resurrection appearances. It is filled with apprehension and expectation because despite all the earth-shaking events that have taken place, and despite all the dramatic possibilities that accompany the presence of the risen Christ, it centers on the betrayal of a friendship and its potential for restoration.

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
— John 21:15-17 NKJV

Jesus' offer of fellowship in the shadow of Peter’s betrayal is moving. It is basic and simple in it’s intent.

Jesus prepares a meal for His friend and offers him forgiveness and a pathway to healing. With a few masterstrokes, Jesus devastates and rehabilitates him at the same time. 
 

Jesus ruins Peter’s surface “self-assurance,” only to clear a path for him to discover true significance. Jesus does not intend to humiliate Peter but to help him define for himself the true cost and benefit of spiritual intimacy. This elegant and minimal exchange between Jesus and Peter identifies a host of complex questions and issues. 
 

Jesus cuts through Peter and gets to the real point. He starts right at the question of love and personal vulnerability. He hits the question of belonging and identification and then the question of healing and restoration.
 

When we come into true community with Jesus, He will always restore us and bring us back to a place of intimacy with Him.
 

From this place of vulnerability, safety, and true identity, we can live according to this model of forgiveness and restoration within our earthly relationships. This is true community! Many are of the conviction that living a life of isolation is just easier.  However, isolation is a trap of the enemy and produced bitterness and unforgiveness in our lives. 
 

Isolation is the breeding ground of toxification. Avoid it at all costs.  
 

Trust the Lord to bring healing and restoration to your life through community with Him and with others.  

In Christ,
Scott