Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” John 21:3a
Peter, still confused, afraid, and wondering what will come next, reverts to the familiar…”I’m going fishing,” he says. After hours of no fish, a voice from ashore instructs them to cast their nets on the right side. Suddenly John recognizes Him. “It is the Lord!”
Jesus makes breakfast with bread and the newly caught fish. It is beautiful and familiar and just feels right. But I imagine deep in the pit of Peter’s stomach he is wondering if the elephant in the room is going to be addressed. I wonder if he is living in the tension of joy that Jesus is here and shame for abandoning Him. I wonder if the pretending nothing happened is killing him. He doesn’t have to wait long.
After breakfast, Jesus turns to Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” Peter replies, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus continues, “Feed my lambs.” Three times Jesus asks Peter this same question.
Three times Peter denies Jesus… and three times Jesus offers Peter the chance to express his love. Three times Jesus gives Peter a mission. God is so gracious in His love, forgiveness, and constant pursuit of us.
Our ability to serve Him isn’t based on our successes, but on His. God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. The same invitation to “Follow Me” that was given three years earlier remains, though this time through a new lens of what the good news and following Jesus looks like.
Like Peter, Jesus invites us to answer the question, “Do you love me?” followed by an invitation to FOLLOW HIM. Not because we are uber qualified, always do the right things, keep all our promises, or anything else rooted in who we are. It is all because of who He is. He is perfect FOR US and He invites us to be part of His mission on earth. He invites us to help continue to share the good news with those around us. To love and care for His sheep.
Questions: Why do you think Jesus repeated His question to Peter three times? Are you ready to say “yes” to Jesus and follow Him?