The days after the resurrection must have been ones of intense excitement and hope. The disciples were forever changed and in many ways had “grown up” so to speak in their faith. They had been witnesses of one of the most horrific acts on another human. Not only had they lived to tell about it, they were walking next to the man that it happened to.
This is grace, mercy, love, and hope at its purest.
One particular passage that always gets my attention is found in John when the disciples Peter and John were fishing days after Christ’s resurrection. Peter has not had an “encounter” that is personal that we know of with Jesus up to this point.
Peter is most likely still carrying the weight of his denial and awaiting the consequences that it bore.
I struggle with shame and guilt over lashing out at my kids or my husband when I am tired, frustrated, or scared. The burden of what Peter had done, honestly must have been heavy on him that day as he was fishing.
Peter ran to what he knew. He went to what was familiar. He was not wandering around, he was doing what he believed was his “new normal”. He went back to a boat, nets, and fish.
Then, as Jesus always does, he stepped into the scene and shook everything up.
Peter was looking for reassurance. He was like a child who needed to know that everything was ok. He wanted the opportunity to be forgiven.
How like him, are we? When we mess up, how often do we look to God for reassurance that He still loves us and wants to be with us?
They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
Peter was so beside himself that he jumped out of the boat to see Jesus. He left all his friends and headed for shore leaving them to bring it all in.
Christ performed a miracle to let them know who He was. Then the story continues.
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
Jesus already had fish on the fire. Peter not only went to get “some” he brought all 153 of them. EVERY LAST ONE –and he dropped them at Jesus feet.
Peter was willing to give the Lord everything he had in grateful worship.
How often are we willing to bring him ALL of what is in our nets and lay them down at his feet?
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
And we can be sure Peter willingly did! May we do the same!
Love to you!!