Simon Peter, the leader of Jesus’ special group of twelve disciples, declared at the Last Supper that no matter what the other disciples would do, he would stand by Jesus even if things got difficult.
However Jesus predicted that Simon Peter would deny that he knew him on three occasions. Simon Peter said that he would do no such thing.
However following Jesus’ arrest, Simon Peter did deny being a friend of Jesus three times. This was probably because he was scared that he might have been arrested as well. However eventually he remembered what Jesus had said and he felt very bad about letting his Master down.
After his Resurrection Jesus spent some time beside the sea, with Simon Peter and some of the other disciples. It was there that Jesus basically asked Simon on three different occasions if he was still important to him. He said that he was.
Simon Peter must have realised that Jesus knew that he had let him down.
Jesus told Simon that he had to take care of his followers.
In other words Jesus forgave Simon and by giving him work to do, showed that Peter still had an important role to play in Jesus’ mission.
If Jesus could be forgiving to someone who had let him down – why do we sometimes find it difficult to be forgiving towards other people whom we perceive have let us down?
Just think how much poorer the church and the world would have been if Simon Peter had not continued to work for his Master for the rest of his life. People make mistakes.
God is always willing to forgive them if they ask him to. But he expects them to be forgiving towards other people too.