Why Jesus Makes Himself Known

Jesus makes himself known for at least two reasons: so that you will faithfully believe and fearlessly follow.

I draw this from John 21, where twice we read in the first 14 verses that Jesus “revealed” (21:1, 14) himself to the disciples. The word revealed serves as a bookend of sorts to help us understand the intent of Jesus—to clearly disclose his post-resurrection reality and make known to them his power and authority.

As a disciple, Peter experienced this personally, taking steps of obedience and action in response to the revealing of Jesus. He was the first to get to the shore to see Jesus (21:4-8), and he was the first to get the fish to the fire for cooking (21:9-11). Peter was seeing Jesus’ authority and power on display. His response was beautifully spontaneous: “I’m in!”

It’s quite clear that Jesus wasn’t going to let Peter wallow in the failure and rejection of that previous night of denial; he would not allow him to live in the shadow of his regretted past. Jesus was intentionally calling him back to a life of faith, taking the first step in this restoration by showing Peter unmistakably that he had a future and a hope for him (21:15-19). And both were in following Jesus obediently and fearlessly.

This is the way Jesus works. He continually makes himself known to us through his Word and by his Spirit so that, even after times of failure, we will refuse to give up and continue to follow. His heart is that of a lovingly powerful shepherd, and he patiently prods his children to follow persistently, even when we know we haven’t followed perfectly.

Have you been wandering? Straying? Do you wonder if your past sin has sidelined you forever? I remind you that Jesus is alive, and he is working powerfully even in the middle of your problems. Why? So that you will see he is who he says he is—Lord and King!—and “return to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul” (1 Peter 2:25), faithfully believing and fearlessly following.

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