Betrayed: How To Restore The Relationship

As Christians, How Should We Respond To Betrayal?

Ross Sawyers
Apr 25, 2021    52m
What happens when trust is breached in a relationship? As Christians, we may wonder, how should we respond to betrayal? This message gives us insight into how Jesus handled Peter's betrayal and how we can apply these lessons to our lives. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

More From This Message

Ross Sawyers: 00:07 It's been exciting hearing this morning of the different things that God did in meeting our ladies over the course of the weekend, and they worked under that big idea of Endure. And if you're familiar with First Corinthians chapter 13, and love is described, and the different aspects of love, and you heard that in my niece's baptism. A sermon series I did a while back on Loving Well, it was one of my favorite times in the scripture, as we just broke down one piece at a time in First Corinthians 13, the varying aspects of what love is. And one aspect of love is endurance, and I'm not sure how often we think about that being love, but when we endure well, when we bend but not break is the idea of that word, when we do that, that's actually expressing a part of what it means to have the love of Christ within us.

Ross Sawyers: 01:04 In First Peter chapter 1, verses 6 and 7, at times it's probably so crucial that we endure, and we're always in the midst of some kind of trial, there's just varying degrees of what those trials might be like. Then in chapter 1, verse 6 says, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith..." The reason for this variety of trials is, "So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Trials prove out our faith, and they bring glory and praise to God when we endure well in the midst of those trials. Sometimes we don't endure so well, we find ourselves not leaning into Christ, we find ourselves leaning outside of Christ, and when we do that, bending but not breaking can sometimes simply be breaking under the pressure of what is happening.

Ross Sawyers: 02:17 I want us to think about, along with what our ladies did this weekend, in looking at different aspects of Peter's life and endurance that's where we've landed in this part of our series of real conversations in truth and love. In John chapter 21 verses 1 through 25, if you have a Bible, you can open it to John 21, and we'll be in all 25 verses. Some of those I'll give a quick overview, some will linger in just a little bit longer. We'll also have the scripture on the screen, and the same if you're online with us, we'll have the scripture there for you as well.

Ross Sawyers: 02:53 I want us to think about this question, what happens when trust is breached in a relationship? What happens when there is a betrayal in a relationship, whether it's a marriage relationship, whether it is a friendship, whether it is a work relationship, or whether it's in a relationships with other parents, or coaches, or teachers, in sports, and in the arts, and we know it can be somewhat brutal in the youth sports world. What happens when trust is violated in those relationships? What happens when it's not bend but not break, rather, it's break? How do we restore a relationship where trust has been breached? And what if we don't want to restore it, we don't like what somebody else did, it hurt, and we're not interested in restoring that relationship? What do we learn from Jesus?

Ross Sawyers: 04:10 What we've been trying to do over these months is to explore, through the gospels, the way Jesus related to different people while strengthening ourselves in God's word and looking at perhaps a slightly different angle of how he actually had conversations with people. In our culture, we desperately need to know how to have real conversations, where we can speak truth and not buckle on the truth, but also that we speak truth in love. So that we're not so loaded with the truth, that no one can actually hear it because there's no grace or love with it, that's been our attempt.

Ross Sawyers: 04:54 There've been a number of dialogues we've looked at in Jesus' life, this one is between Jesus and Peter. We find ourselves post-resurrection, so Jesus has been crucified, he's been risen. And in John 21, we see post-resurrection, Jesus had told his disciples to go to Galilee, go back to the sea of Galilee, this is actually where we first began. It's the idea of begin with the end in mind, go back to Galilee, and I'll meet you there. Keep in mind that Peter, on the night before Jesus was crucified, actually deep into the morning of the day he was crucified, Peter had breached the trust of Jesus had betrayed him, he denied him three times. So when we think about this, there's three ideas of how to have a conversation when there's been betrayal, and how do we restore where there's been that betrayal?

Ross Sawyers: 06:06 The first idea is this, I'm not sure it's the best, the Scripture, we're certainly true to the Scripture. I think this idea is in there, you may differ and find a different way to think about it, and that's fantastic. But we'll be true to the scripture, and then I think I'm confident this piece is in there. And I just want us to think about it, as we think about how to have these conversations, but this is the way I look at it, it's start in a familiar place. That if relationships have been breached, if there's been a trust that's been betrayed, then the place to restore it, at least what Jesus is doing, is starting in a familiar place, and we see that unfold around the sea of Galilee in the first three verses. The disciples they're waiting, Peter and some of the other disciples they're waiting, trying to figure out when Jesus is going to meet them there.

Ross Sawyers: 06:58 And Peter does what's familiar to him, he goes fishing. He said, that's what he knows to do, he's not sure what's coming next, he knows that Jesus said, he's coming to meet them. In the meantime, he just went to something familiar. I think we do that, when there's relationships where trust has been breached, there's difficulty there, we just try to lean into something that we're familiar with, that we're comfortable with. Peter was a professional fishermen, he was great at it, they are by the sea, there's been a lot that's gone on and he goes fishing. And the other guys say we're in too, we're going fishing.

Ross Sawyers: 07:39 And that's where we find ourselves when we pick up in verse 4, this is a familiar place, "And when the day was now breaking..." So it's just the beginning of the day, "Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus." Now we've come across this a few times in Jesus' post-resurrection appearances, people don't seem to recognize him right away. I don't know that there's anything more to be made of this than that we learn in a few verses, that they're about a hundred yards from shore, it was just now getting daylight, and it's just simply possible that they didn't recognize him because they were a hundred yards away from him and it was barely a daylight.

Ross Sawyers: 08:18 In verse 5, "Jesus said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” Now, I don't know how many of you are great fishermen or fisherwomen, but I bet there's many of you that are. And I don't know of a question that might be tougher to hear, than somebody to yell at you while you're fishing, hey, I bet you haven't caught anything yet, have you. Jesus just sort of does things straight on, and they answered him directly, and they said, no, no, they haven't caught anything. Verse 6, "He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” He said, do it on the right-hand side. Now, I know a lot of us can be really prideful about our professions, knowing we're really good at something, sometimes it's hard to hear someone else say how we should do our thing. Can you imagine, Peter's done it his whole life, he doesn't recognize who is on the beach, and he's saying, hey, just throw it on the other side of the boat and you'll catch something. And they did it, they swallowed their pride, "So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish." They caught a large number of fish.

Ross Sawyers: 09:45 They're in a really familiar place right now, this story, if you're familiar and if you're not, in Luke chapter 5, this is exactly how Jesus started out with his disciples, with these guys. They had been fishing, didn't catch anything, they were tired, and Jesus said, Hey, go back out and you're going to catch something, and they did it. Almost exact same scenario. This is how he started with him, and this is how he's wrapping up with them, in that which is familiar for them, there's a different reaction this time though. In verse 7, "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved (Which we believe is John) said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish." Peter, in his exuberance of realizing this is Jesus, starts moving towards him and just flailing. He's going to swim a hundred yards, I mean, he's going to get after it with an outer garment on. I don't know if you looked at those lately in the biblical clothing, but that wouldn't be the easiest of swims, but he couldn't wait to get as close to Jesus as he could get.

Ross Sawyers: 11:31 That's different than in Luke chapter 5, the first time around. What did Peter do? When they went back out and caught those fish, Peter realized he was standing in front of somebody that he wasn't worthy to be with. In Luke 5 he says, "Depart from me because I'm a sinful man." I'm not worthy to be standing in your presence, and this isn't about the fish. I'm not worthy to be in your presence, get away from me. Not this time, not this time, this time it's how close can he get to Jesus as fast as he can get to him. Now, I don't know this, but I wonder this, sometimes when we have relationships, especially ones that are close, and there's been conflict or a breach trust, the one who broke the trust, can't wait to get near to the one whose trust they broke to just get an idea, is everything okay here? Sometimes we just want to get in close to see where we are. And I wonder if that's what Peter was doing. He was so trying to work through that he had betrayed Jesus, then when he saw him, he just wanted to get as close to him as he could. And one thing we've noted again and again, is Jesus in his compassion, he comes toward us even in our worst moments, and we see him doing that again.

Ross Sawyers: 13:21 Verse 9, "So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught...there were 153 fish." And I love the detail and historicity of scripture, it wasn't just a bunch of fish, it was 153 fish. That was a good day, a good cast over the right side of the boat. They start to eat breakfast, they are around that charcoal fire, there's no doubt that Jesus, who spent a lot of his ministry around the sea of Galilee with the disciples, they had done this numerous times. This is familiar, to be around the fire, a little fish fry, some bread, it's a good way to start the day. Familiar, a familiar place. But you know, it probably also sparked, in Peter, perhaps something familiar he would rather forget, it was around a fire that he actually denied Jesus. Sometimes that familiar place can be a place of sweet and rich memory, it can also be a place of really hard memory of what might've happened there.

Ross Sawyers: 14:50 "Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise, and this is the third time that Jesus had made himself known to the disciples." So I would say this, just to start, this really just gets our setting for when there's been a betrayal in a relationship, a breach of trust. That in restoration, we just returned to something familiar, that that may be a place to resolve conflict for us that, in our home, it might be a place where we like to eat, maybe it's a place we like to view. But whatever it is, it is a familiar place to restore and resolve that, which has been broken. Jesus, for sure, created a safe space for this conversation to happen.

Ross Sawyers: 15:44 In light of that space then, this is what I'd say the second idea, If we're going to have restoration in relationships where there's betrayal, the second idea is to face the issue head on. Now, that may seem obvious, that I take it head on, I come direct with whatever the issue is and we deal with that, wherever the break of trust was. But that's not, in reality, how a number of ways people actually do conflict. What we, a number of us, would prefer is that, you know what, that was a bad morning, and I just wish I could have that one over, can we just kind of blow that off and move on? Do we even have to talk about that again? Can we just let that go? I mean, that's a lot of our preference, let's just sweep it under the rug, get it out of here, I don't want to deal with that, and let's just move on, that's not helpful. Excuse making is not helpful, taking the issue head on, that actually can bring restoration. And until we're willing to do that, there probably will not be a restoring of the relationship.

Ross Sawyers: 17:04 Well, how did Jesus do it? Verse 15, "So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter..." Which, for those of you again are familiar with the story, maybe you're like me, or maybe you've moved on and you figured this out a while back, and you're going to say, man, I'm glad you finally figured that out. I've always had this scene just staying around the fire, and that the disciples all heard this conversation with Peter. I don't know that that's necessarily what happened, in verse 20 we see, and we'll talk about that in a little bit. But in verse 20, it seems they're walking along the beach, and Peter looks back and as they're walking and he says, what about that one that's following us, what about that disciple? Which tells us, somewhere along the way, they got up from the fire and started walking. So you can imagine, and you know what, I think for men, sometimes we probably do better like walking side by side than we do looking across the table. And it seems like they're just walking along now, along the beach, and having this conversation and tackling this issue head on.

Ross Sawyers: 18:14 So, "“Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” Some things to note in this first part of the exchange, he calls him Simon. Earlier, he had declared him, Peter, the rock, and upon this rock I'll build my church. Here he calls him Simon, he wasn't a rock that morning that Jesus was facing his most dire time, and Jesus is addressing him as Simon, this is how they started out. He says, Simon, do you love me more than these? And for those who are interested in the Greek language, there's a word something going on here, and I just want to acknowledge it. There are multiple words in Greek for the word love, and the New Testament is written in the Greek language. What Jesus asks here, he said, ""Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" And I think he probably means, do you love me more than these others do? Do you love me? That word love, is the Greek word, agape, it means to sacrifice, or to give ourselves away, it's the it's the deepest kind of love that someone could have, to lay their life down for someone else. And Jesus asked him, is this the kind of love that you have for me? But that's not the way Peter responds, Peter responds with the word, phileo, that's a deep brotherly kind of love. So Jesus asking him, do you love me in a sacrificial, lay yourself down kind of way? And Peter answers and says, you know that I do, you know about our deep friendship and how much I love you. And then Jesus said, "Tend my lambs."

Ross Sawyers: 20:29 There's a few things that Jesus is driving at here. One, he needs to know that Peter loves him, because he's got quite a task for him ahead, and apart from loving Jesus, he will only falter again. So Jesus is clearing up here where Peter's love really is. He asks a second time in verse 16, "He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” The word love there, Jesus asked, is the word agape, do you sacrificially love me? "He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”. And he used the word phileo again, he used the word for friendship. "He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” If you love me in this way, it's the only way you like to be able to shepherd my sheep, that's a metaphor. Jesus used for taking care of his people. If you're going to take care of my people and shepherd them, it starts with your love for me. "He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” This time, Jesus changes words and uses the same word that Peter used, phileo. So Jesus switched, and said, not do you sacrificially love me? Do you love me as a brother and a deep friend? "Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”, we'll come back to that in a moment. "And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” You know all that, you know I love you, and he uses the word phileo as well. And, "Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep." You can make of that whatever you want to make of that, I think it's highly possible that it was just an interchange of words. That there is a love there, Jesus is making sure where Peter's love is, and Peter's responding, but at least wanted to make that an awareness for those who like to wrestle around with that kind of thing.

Ross Sawyers: 22:53 The primary idea here is, does he love Jesus? And why would he do it three times? One possibility is, he denied Jesus three times, so he's matching it for each denial. What I believe really is happening, and the point is, he's moving Peter to a place of genuine repentance. It wasn't until the third time, that we read Peter was grieved. The word grieved would be to weep over, to be saddened over, our sin. Why is it that Peter could not withstand, that morning, the questions that came to him, and then he denied Jesus? Why did he break? Why did he not bend and not break? Why did he break? I think he was too self-reliant, too prideful. He had publicly said he would go to the death for Jesus, and a few hours later he's denying him. I think Peter fully meant what he said, I don't think he said that flippantly, I think he meant he would go to the death for Jesus. But he was relying on himself, he was relying on his own pride, he relied on his own ability to be able to stand in that moment, and he failed, Jesus asking questions, Peter responding, finally grieved, I think he realizes the magnitude of what he'd done. We're not sweeping this under the rug, and Jesus is restoring him.

Ross Sawyers: 24:53 Now, forgiveness and restoration are interesting ideas, they're challenging inside of our relationships. In Matthew 5:23 and 24, Jesus is preaching and he's in the Sermon on the Mount. And he says, "If you're worshiping..." Let's just say, you're gathered something like this, and worshiping with us online, if you're at worship and you remember that somebody has something against you, then you need to leave right now and go take care of that, and then come back and worship me. The greatest act of worship you could make right now to me, Jesus said, is to go get that relationship right that's wrong, then come back and bring your offering and your worship to me.

Ross Sawyers: 25:50 Now, notice what's happening here, Jesus isn't the one that breached the trust, and yet he's the one initiating the restoration. It's the idea of Romans 12:18 I think, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." if possible, so far as it depends on you. So as we're walking with the Lord, and we realize, okay, this relationship's not right, or this relationship's not right, then God, do you want me to initiate the restoring of that relationship? And I understand that there are different levels where there's different breaches of trust, some are incredibly devastating, some less devastating, and it would depend on someone's story is to even how we would determine that. But who goes, who takes that first step? Well, Jesus is the one who's been sinned against, and he's the one taking the step towards the person in compassion and mercy to restore the relationship.

Ross Sawyers: 27:03 Rita Snowden said this, it's a beautiful thought around forgiveness, "Forgiveness is the wonder of being trusted again by God, in the place where I disgraced him." Forgiveness, it's the wonder of being trusted again by God, in the same place where I disgraced him. I wondered, again, I don't know what all was running through Peter's mind, but I wonder when he was grieved if he was hopeful of what Jesus had told him in Matthew 18. Peter had gone to Jesus and he said, Hey, "How many times shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" He said seven, that would have been generous according to the culture of the day. So you harm me seven times, you sin against me seven times, and I'll forgive you seven, on the eighth, I'm out. That's what Peter's asking, and Jesus says no, up to seven times seventy. And I don't think he was just challenging our math there, I don't think he was saying, hey, let somebody sin against you. 490 times at the 491st time, you're free to no longer forgive them. No, he's giving a picture of limitless kind of forgiveness for someone, it's a stunning conversation.

Ross Sawyers: 28:36 And Peter's listening to this, and then Jesus tells him a story And he said, Hey, there was a King and he had a servant, and this servant was in enormous debt to him. And the servant came, because the King called in the note. And the servant comes to the King and begs for forgiveness of the note, the King has compassion and lets him go. That servant then finds someone equal to him who owes him a smaller debt, and starts abusing that person who owed him, and he said, pay me back. Well, some others were aware of what's going on and they went and told the King, the King calls this servant back and said, what are you doing? I just forgave you an enormous debt, and yet you're doing this to your peer? And then, it was nothing but bad news for that guy. I wonder if Peter was thinking, man, I hope some of that limitless forgiveness is happening here.

Ross Sawyers: 29:45 There's a difference in worldly and godly sorrow over our sin. Here we find Peter was grieved, I think that's why Jesus pressed it, getting to a place where finally Peter was admitting what he had done and the grievousness of it towards Jesus. In Second Corinthians chapter 7 verse 10 it says, "The sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death." There is a godly kind of sorrow that indicates a genuine repentance of the heart, and there's a worldly kind of sorrow that only leads to death because nothing changes. It was humbling to me this week, studying this and reading, one of the ways that we know that it's a godly sorrow, is the first person we've hurt that comes to mind is God himself. Our sin first and foremost is against God, and when we have a godly sorrow and a godly repentance, a true repentance, we recognize that our sin is first and foremost against God, and then we recognize that our sin is against the person that we've hurt or betrayed their trust, that's godly sorrow, that's our first two thoughts.

Ross Sawyers: 31:29 He said, well, what would worldly sorrow be? Well, I think this professor is helpful, his name is Jim Newheiser, he's a professor of counseling, and he gives characteristics of worldly sorrow, and characteristics of godly sorrow. And so when we look at worldly sorrow, this would be something to consider. And I think these are two of the best lists of something I've seen for us to linger on, and meditate on, to ask ourselves, when I've sinned against someone, is mine a genuine, godly repentance, or is it a worldly sorrow? Here's an example of worldly sorrow, for those of us that have been parents, and all of us have been kids, at some point in our lives we were either asked to, or we asked our kids to, go apologize to their brother or sister because they did something wrong to them. Go tell him, you're sorry. Okay, I'm sorry. No, you're not, you don't want to get in any more trouble. And you know that you have to say, I'm sorry, and we need to be training our kids until their hearts catch up. But adults do the same thing, I'm sorry. No, you're not, you just want to end this mess. And the only way you know to do it is say, I'm sorry, even though you're really not. Worldly sorrow is self-focused and self-protective, it doesn't primarily hate the sin, it hates the consequences. Blame shifting, I was with a guy the other day and he just talked about being stubborn in his marriage, and then he said, but she stubborn too. Own your part, stop, don't shift the blame. Resents accountability, the worldly sorrow says, you know, I don't want any accountability with this. Impatient, demands to be trusted and restored immediately, sometimes the breach of trust is such, it takes some time. And the worldly sorrow says, I said, I'm sorry, so trust me now, and we'll be restored immediately. It focuses on the sins of others, not on their own sins, criticizes the disciplinary process, there's an unchanged, hardened heart, there's no fruit. In other words, there's nothing different that can be seen, it's simply, and I'm sorry. That is a worldly sorrow, again, worth lingering in.

Ross Sawyers: 34:35 Too many times, I find myself more in that list then I do on the other. And what I can at least do, is ask God to work in my heart in such a way that it's a godly sorrow, not a worldly sorrow. I can't force this, but I can own it, and I can ask God to break my heart over what breaks his. So godly sorrow is focused on God and the other person, I mentioned that a moment ago, the first priority when I've breached a trust is your wellbeing, not mine, that's a godly sorrow. It hates the sin itself, and accepts the consequences of the sin. It fully accepts responsibility, seeks accountability, so that it won't happen again, patient in the process, focuses on their own sin and God changing their own heart, submits to whatever disciplinary process, there's a changed heart and there's fruit. It's evident that someone understands what they've done is a violation of trust, and there's a change in that particular behavior. And we're all in a process, and I think these kinds of things, it's crucial that we walk them in community, in wise counsel, in intimacy with the Lord. Jesus is driving to a love motivation, the only way you and I will actually want to restore betrayed relationships, is if we're motivated by the love of Christ, that's where it all starts, minus that there won't be much interest in what I've said.

Ross Sawyers: 36:37 When we think about this in our own lives today, I think one of the most devastating betrayals that can happen is in the sacredness of marriage, where a husband commits adultery against his wife, where a wife emotionally attaches herself to another man. In our day, sadly, pornography has grabbed hold of both women and men, when trust is violated and pornography has become the go-to, it's devastating inside of marriages. Friendships can be devastated, when someone you thought you knew, they said what? They wrote what with a hashtag? They sent a Snapchat, hoping it would disappear? They did what video on Tik Tok? Or that relationship at work, that you've worked with someone for years. I thought you were a person of integrity, how did you do that deal behind my back? And I mentioned youth sports earlier, I think that can be one of the toughest venues today. Everybody jockeying for who they want on a particular team, or in their class, whatever it might play out to be. Can those be restored? Absolutely. But only in Christ.

Ross Sawyers: 38:55 In John 15:5, Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." We will not be able to extend forgiveness and take the step towards someone to restore a relationship, whether we're the offender or the offended, apart from Jesus. Because Jesus said, apart from me, you can do nothing. We will not be able to receive forgiveness from someone that we've breached the trust of apart from Christ, and understanding how much he loves me, that he's forgiven me, and released me, and I can actually receive that forgiveness that someone's offering me for the trust are breached towards them. Sometimes we can't get out of our own way for something we've done, but only in Jesus can we actually even receive it, that's good news.

Ross Sawyers: 40:07 I've been around long enough now, that I've watched a number of marriages that God has restored from devastating circumstances. And I would just say today, this shouldn't be a beat down, this should be a gratitude message of, I can't believe that God took that mess and restored it this way. And not everybody wants to be restored, when I read Romans 12:18, it says, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." Not everyone wants to repent, not everyone's interested in restoring. As a Christian, we step into it in our part, we can't make someone do something, but we can at least step in and attempt to restore. Face the issue head on with love, with truth, the goal is restoring. We need community, sometimes we need counselors, we need support. If you're a reader, Ken Sande wrote a book called Resolving Everyday Conflict, it's a great little read to help if we don't have the skills to know how to conflict very well. And sometimes just a little bit of help can take us a long way, I've spent a lifetime getting help on how to do this.

Ross Sawyers: 41:44 There's a last piece to this, we don't just leave it, so if there's the opportunity to restore it, then the last thing we do is we show the way forward. Jesus doesn't just leave him, he asks him these questions. He knows what he has intended for Peter, he has something in store for him, something of great magnitude moving ahead. And he's making sure, okay, we're good now, I understand that you love me, I understand that you're willing now to tend my sheep, you're willing to care for those who are mine, and now we can move forward. And we think about it, in a marriage relationship, a friendship, a work relationship, a youth sport parent relationship, whatever it might be, we need to be clear and move forward in something, we don't just do this part and then stop.

Ross Sawyers: 42:35 We've done some leadership development on our staff the last few weeks, it's been some of the best development I think I've ever been a part of. And one of the things that was just reiterated, in that I think we know, but it was just nice to hear afresh, clarity, is a leader's best friend. When things are clear, that's a leader's best friend, I think that's a marriage's best friend, I think that's a work relationship's best friend, I think that is youth parent's best friend, is clarity. They also said, that the source of all conflict is expectations not met. Now, if we don't know what the expectations are, we'll run into conflict. Because we think and expect something, and they're not delivering, they might not even know they need to deliver on it. So if we're not clear in our expectations with each other, there's sure to be conflict. So when we restore, we want to make sure that it's clear what the way is forward. And I would say again, that for every situation, the way forward will look a little bit different. The purpose of it, ultimately, is that you and I restored can walk together in following after Jesus and leading other people to him, we want to be restored so we can bring glory to him, we can work together in following after him.

Ross Sawyers: 43:59 What did Jesus say to Peter? Verse 18, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” What did Jesus mean by this? Peter knew, verse 19, Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!”. Jesus was telling him, you're going to end up dying the same kind of death I died, that's where you're headed, it would be three decades later that Peter would be crucified. Can you imagine having hanging over your head, I don't know when it's going to be, but sometime this is what my death looks like. So I thought about that, Jesus spent three decades with it hanging over his head, the kind of death he would die. But he was able to do that, because he saw through it for the joy that it would bring to you and me, he was working for our joy, and he achieved that through what he did on the cross.

Ross Sawyers: 45:30 Now, if we begin with the end in mind, what did Jesus say to Peter and the other disciples early on? He said, follow me. What does he say here at the end, follow me. He's just reiterating, follow me. I was talking to somebody the other day, and we were talking about somebody and wondering if they're Christian or not a Christian, and we spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. And I do this with a lot of different people, I say, do you think they're a believer? Do you think they followed Jesus? And then, we start talking around it, trying to figure out how we can make it seem like they are. And finally, I thought, goodness, Jesus said, follow me, you're either following him or you're not following him. We're all in a different process, we're all in a different place in the journey, no question, but you either following or you're not following. I don't see Jesus like coming up with 85 descriptors to come somehow, I think so. Like my brother said to my niece, the shirt, are you in? Yeah. Granted, again, some are in a process of trying to figure it out, but follow me, he says. And we need to keep in mind that the way in to following him is through the cross, Jesus died for our sin on that cross, including each one of us are betrayers. Before we're too hard on someone else that's betrayed us, we are betrayers of Jesus, and he took that sin on that cross off of us. Good news is found in Jesus Christ. It will be hard, he says to Peter, that's why love is so crucial, I can do hard for somebody I love. If you don't love Jesus, in the culture we're in today, you're not going to last long. That's that's just telling the truth, I hope that's gracious. Motivated by the love of Christ, we will be the brightest lights, with the greatest joy, the deepest peace, and the deepest hope for those around us, but it'll start within us.

Ross Sawyers: 48:16 Well, there's a last little thing that happens here between Peter and Jesus, it's interesting that this is how it wraps up. They're walking along the beach, remember? It seems like the other disciples are trailing behind, I don't know if they were in earshot, it seems like these guys liked to know what was going on in each other's business, so I suspect they were. Peter looks back and he says, what about that one? If this is what's happening to me, what's happening to him. And Jesus, in essence, said don't worry about it, this isn't a comparing game.

Ross Sawyers: 48:51 In John 17, Jesus prayed, and he said, "I've glorified you on this earth with the works you've given me to do." Jesus had a certain set of things that God had for him, and God has a certain set of things for me and for you. Don't look behind and say, what about him? What about their marriage? What about that friendship over there? What about theirs? What about their thing? Why aren't you doing that with them? No, I've got them, you get your eyes on me, follow me. I'll let you know what your race is to run, I'll give you the good works I've prepared for you to glorify me on this earth. You run your race, quit looking at somebody else, Jesus showed him the way forward.

Ross Sawyers: 49:50 Peter would go on in a few weeks and preach a sermon where 3000 people would come to Christ, it would be the beginning of the church. And then Peter would faithfully, he would falter along the way as do the rest of us, but with a full on loyalty to Christ, follow him to the end, taking as many people with him as God intended for him. And we get to continue what it is that God has done, he's restored us today in Jesus Christ, he's forgiven us, the greatest thing we can do is the same.

Ross Sawyers: 50:26 Father, thank for the strength of your word. And we're grateful, we're grateful for these baptisms the last several weeks, and that people have trusted Christ, and others who have trusted Jesus that have not been baptized yet. And we just love, God, what you've been doing among us and among our community. And God, I thank you today for the what you did with those who were part of the weekend with the ladies. And I pray God, that would just spread, and they'd pass on what you've done with them to others.

Ross Sawyers: 50:54 And then God, we thank you for today, and I ask that all of us would know what it is to know your forgiveness first and foremost, and that we'd come clean God before you not expecting you to sweep it under the rug, but where we've betrayed your trust, and we've turned our back on you, I pray today would be a day of repentance. And then, Father, I pray where we have received that forgiveness, that we'd be filled with gratitude today. And where relationships have been restored, that this would just be a cause for us to be thankful today. And the, Father, where there's undone business in relationships,, where there's hurts and offenses, I pray, that as Christians, we would graciously, gently, and lovingly, with compassion and a desire to reconcile, step towards those relationships just as you did, Jesus. So thank you for showing us the way, and I pray, God, we'd walk in obedience to what that way is. And I pray those things in Jesus' name.

Ross Sawyers: 51:49 Let's be quiet before the Lord, and just anything that he might be saying into your own heart, whether that's, hey, you know what, I've been trying to figure this out, and I get it, I'm in, I want to follow Jesus, just tell him today. Or ask him, is there any breaches in trust that I haven't resolved that you want me to step into, and then help me to do it in your strength? And I pray there'd be so much resolution in relationships today. And then if it's really difficult to handle, I hope you'll seek help to walk with you to know what that right way forward is. Let's be still and see what God wants to do.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
Read More

Previous Videos in this Series

View all in this series
121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051