Peter gets asked 3 times of his love confession for the 3 times he rejected his professed love for Jesus on a beach, the same scene where Jesus first meets the ruffian. One day God will take the hand of His first creation in His image, lead Adam back to where he ate life daily, maybe God takes us all back to where we first encountered Him for a very special reason. Maybe in the middle of our walk with God, maybe at the very end, maybe very shortly after. At some point in our walk it seems theres a time to see the beginning again, to encounter the faith becoming sight, to understand the new birth anew. Maybe its after a season of drought, you've betrayed your convictions purposefully, you've grown tired of waiting, your patience is wasted, you feel unheard and cared for, everything seems chaos related and dominated. Maybe its in a time of fullness, great accomplishments made, break thru's realized, overcoming a habit or situation. Whatever time it is, HE chooses it, and it maybe more then once, however many times it takes for us to taste the wonder of His love that spurs us forward again, the love that stirs the monotony.
What i like about this all is that Jesus doesn't let one thing that could be a barrier slip by without confronting it, His love for us doesn't allow him to let some things slip by because they maybe small, the 1 inch step is the beginning to the progress of walking away from His side, the devil knows this and if something that can be slipped in that can be questioned or overlooked that isn't so sacred, that means we'll be ready to accept the next 1 inch that would come after that, so by many 1 inches accepted we are led purposefuly away from our first love.
Some may consider the first inches to be the externals like a bit of this or that won't hurt you in itself, diet, the substances in moderation, sabbath time spent on something else besides the love of Jesus, and then after those things become more acceptable its easier to look at the more sacred and consider them not as important or valuable to our walk till the 1 inch has taken us 180 degrees in the other direction from Jesus.
Jesus confronts every inch because He knows how far the inch can spread, so He asks peter of his devotion and love for each time peter denied his profession, and after each questioning he entrusts him with the same charge He first found him on the beach with....follow me...feed my sheep...WOW and again i say WOW. This robs the theory of 'once saved always saved' theory in bold daylight. This Jesus in His zealousness confronts sin because he has tasted the cost of sin and knows the permanence it can have in our distance from Him. This disciple who has seen every great miracle possible in 3 years slipped up at the end completely denying his love for Jesus and here Jesus days before He leaves this earth takes the time to confront this weakened vessel because he knows the cost it will have in peters walk if He doesn't.
You can mess up, it can be more costly then we realize, so EVERYTHING must be brought to His full light, sin is separation, thats what it comes down to, so for something insignificant to us in its weight in all actuality can be costly to our salvation. The devil doesn't have to wave crazy blatant sin in our face to get us off, we may have the strength to resist adultery or murdering someone, but we may find it easier to compromise the small, a lie maybe, not being satisfied with what we have and wanting someone else's lifestyle or possessions, having a sip of this, a puff of that. The 1 inch will always be more deadly friends, the slow progression of tolerance builds it harder in our minds that its acceptable, thats what all of the heavens and principalities are fighting for, our choice is the most sought after possession of all time and in all the universe. Jesus is the only one to have experienced the fullness of permanent separation from God in his 3 days in the grave. He only had the assurance of Gods love for him facing this. That is what we must rely on now, on our heavenly father, the testimony of Jesus, and this precious gift of the Holy Spirit. All three don't want us forever separated from their adoring love over us, so they point out the thorn in our side, the slip in our step, so that we can see the bad step ahead next time, we can see the thorns reaching for us and avoid them in the future.
I got the thorns still in friends, and i'm in the process of having them taken out, i'm excited to be able to see them ahead of time. I'm done with the inch, but it ain't done with me. Everdays start we must respond to Jesus' words 'i love you, follow me, feed my sheep' with 'i love you back, i will follow because i love you, your will is my joy because i love you' or those thorns will stop looking like a threat, and will become inviting. God showed us His love first friends, our natural response isn't pretty, but when we ask to see His confession daily, it will draw us in every so sweetly because nothing in this world will be sweeter to us than this love.
I think this is why sin is so detestable to God, its separation, and He can't stand being apart from the ones He loves, THATS US FOLKS! we are the object of his undying love, He counts us worthy of His blood, His time, His all, how could an inch to this or that be worth giving to something else besides giving it to this love? I want the inches back to Jesus, walk with me friends, we are weak and can't really do it on our own, but He will walk with us!!!! Hallelujah! it's promised! His name means we can't be alone ->Emmanuel<-"God with Us" He knows the thorns, the broken steps, and if we walk with Jesus we don't have to have repeats again. I'm done with the destruction of repeats, be done with me.