Jesus later appeared to his disciples along the shore of Lake Tiberias.2 Simon Peter, Thomas the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, and the brothers James and John, were there, together with two other disciples.3 Simon Peter said, â€œIâ€™m going fishing!â€
The others said, â€œWe will go with you.â€ They went out in their boat. But they didnâ€™t catch a thing that night.
â€œNo!â€ they answered. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â John 21:1-5 (CEV)
Lectionary texts: Acts 9:1-20, Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14, John 21:1-19
I love this story! Have you ever been in just a terrible season in your life? And whatever the reason: sickness, bad relationship, loneliness, a death, loss of a dream â€“ and you just want to â€œStop the world turning, I want to get off!â€ I think this is where Peter was on this day. He was low, really low. Jesus’ death and the loss of the dream that he had about what â€œcould have been,â€ has Peter in a place where he is seeking comfort. He is going fishing. I can so identify. When I am in such a place, I do not want to do anything complicated and I want activities that are comfortable and familiar to me. That was fishing to Peter and these men.
I think it is important to notice that they did stay together on this day. It is a principle for me to remember â€“ that no matter how much I may want to go off by myself and wallow alone in my pain, it is always dangerous to go off alone. Remember that Peter warned that Satan prowls around looking to ambush those who isolate themselves (1 Peter 5:8). So have God identify that friend that God wants in your life that you can always count on and be comfortable around, no matter what the circumstance.
It is also important to notice that they did not have a successful night. They went off by themselves and did not catch anything. If I am going to be a ‘fisher of men’ I need to make sure I am following Jesus’ lead, not going off on my own idea of what God might want me to do or, worse yet, not even consult Him.
I need to remember another principle. If my heart is truly desiring to follow Jesus, then when I get off His path, Jesus will come find me. He will call me back from the ‘rabbit trail’ that I may have gone off on and set me back on His straight and narrow path that leads to His righteousness.
And if I have really messed up my life, Jesus shows later in this same chapter that He is about mercy and forgiveness. Jesus reinstated Peter as He, with a repeated question, reminds Peter that he does love the LORD and he can be used to build God’s Kingdom. It is about repenting, making a change, and stepping back on God’s path, beginning again.
Besides the passage in John, take a few minutes and read Psalm 30. What a wonderful blessing of strength and encouragement
Draw Me Close written and sung by Michael W Smith