Then Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me!” (John 21:19).
Do you know the context of that verse? You might think that it was Jesus seeing the “full of life and potential” Peter at the beginning of his ministry calling him to be one of his disciples. Jesus did do that, but that was a number of chapters before this! Check out the reference: John chapter 21 is one of the accounts of the resurrected Jesus. This is after . . .
After Peter was slow to believe, after Peter had doubted Jesus’ power when walking on water, after Peter told Jesus that Jesus would never suffer a cross, after Peter had cut off Malchus’ ear, after Peter abandoned Jesus in the garden, after Peter denied Jesus three times . . . you get the point. And yet, Jesus still said, “Follow me”? I don’t get it.
We can only get it after we realize what else it was after . . .
After Jesus gave his life on Good Friday to pay for the sins of the world. After Jesus rose to life on Easter morning. We remember Peter’s sins, but because he removed those sins forever, Jesus does not. That’s why Jesus could say to Peter, “Follow me!”
Think you have too many “afters” to hear those words from Jesus? Think again. His cross and empty tomb assure you. It’s why after all of our afters, Jesus can say, “You’re forgiven—follow me!” Follow him, certain that when your final after comes, Jesus will say, “Welcome home!”