REJECTED OR RESTORED?
Have you ever worried that you have sinned yourself out of God’s plan for your life?
That’s probably what Peter thought after he had denied Jesus and fled from the scene of his Master’s crucifixion. He went back fishing together with some of his buddies. Perhaps he thought, “I’ve blown it, so I might as well go back to the old life and forget about this ‘call’ thing.”
I find it fascinating – the way Jesus handled it.
He had met Peter on the beach the first time and called him to follow Him. Peter and his business colleagues had been fishing all night – caught nothing. Jesus arrived on the scene and gave them a crazy instruction: “Go back, in broad daylight, and throw in your nets again.” They knew it wouldn’t work but they did it anyway and the result was startling. Jesus’ word had driven the fish into the net and Peter knew he was dealing with no ordinary man. On the strength of that he responded to Jesus’ call, “Follow me.”
Then Peter messed up and thought his life as a disciple was over.
Same place, same scene. Once again the disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. Now they couldn’t even do what they knew most about. Imagine how dejected they must have felt. How did Peter feel? He couldn’t be a disciple and he couldn’t fish. What now?
Someone stands on the beach in the early morning. “Caught anything?” He calls. “Nothing,” they call back. “Throw your nets in on the right side of the boat.” Right side? No, wrong side! Fish don’t swim into nets there. But they do it anyhow. Again Jesus word drives the fish into their net and John cries out in recognition, “It’s the Master!”
Something stirs in Peter’s memory. It was in a moment just like this, long ago, that Jesus called him to follow Him. Perhaps…If only…
After breakfast they walk along the beach and Jesus quietly takes Peter aside. Peter waits for the bomb to explode but instead, Jesus stops, looks him in the eyes and asks, three times, “Peter, do you love me?”
Not “Why did you do it?” or “What’s your problem, man?” but “Do you love me?”
Is that all that matters to Jesus? Yes. He is not interested in why you blew it. He isn’t surprised either, because He knew you’d fail before you ever did it. All that matters is, do you love Him? It’s easy to answer, either “Yes” or “No”.
“Peter, do you truly love me? Then follow me.” That’s all you need.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!