There’s a passage of Scripture in John 20 that always makes me laugh. It’s when Mary goes to tell Simon Peter and John that the stone on the tomb had been removed, and verses 3-4 say, “So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.”
Now, as a girl who grew up with three brothers, I can understand exactly why John had to make sure it was forever recorded in Scripture that he outran Peter. To this day, my brothers still bring up old fights and races and remind each other exactly who won each one.
But the more I read through John, the more I am convicted by the importance of verse 2: “So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved…” Over and over again throughout his Gospel account, John refers to himself as the one Jesus loved. And the truth is:
Love will always outrun.
Love outruns curiosity.
Love outruns shame.
Love outruns guilt.
Love outruns fear.
Love gets you to Jesus faster.
John knew two things: That he loved Jesus, and that Jesus loved him. We don’t know what Peter was feeling when he was running with John, but I imagine that if I had been the one to deny the Son of God three times, I might not be leading the pack to see Him again.
What if He doesn’t want to see me?
What if things will never be the same?
What if He can’t forgive me?
So many times I have been the one asking those questions.
So many times they held me back or slowed me down.
But several years ago—when I received a revelation of His love for me for the first time and let my identity become cemented as “the one He loves”—I ran straight to Jesus and never looked back.
I no longer hesitate when I am sad, or lonely, or hurt. I just run.
And ultimately, so did Peter. In John 21, Jesus appeared to John and Simon Peter by the Sea of Galilee. John said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” And verse 7 says, “As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water.”
Peter overcame any doubt or fear and ran to Jesus. And immediately, Jesus restored him. Three times, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” The same number of times that Peter denied Him, Jesus gave him the opportunity to change his answer. And then He said to Peter, “Follow me.”
No matter what you’ve done or how far away you have gone, Jesus is ready to restore you. He’s ready to welcome you home and invite you to follow Him again. Perfect love drives out all fear, and He loves you perfectly. You just have to receive it. Let yourself be filled up by His love, and then let it pour out of you as it is perfected in you.
Be fueled by the love of God, and be driven by your love for Him.