In today’s passage, Jesus again appears to some of his disciples. We see that Peter is returning to what he did before beginning to follow Jesus. They were not having a lot of luck, but then, a voice emerges from the shore that encouraged them to put the net on the right side of the boat to find fish. This scene, of course, would be familiar to these fisherman, as memories of Jesus calling them to leave their nets and follow Him came flooding back. As soon as their nets started filling up, their suspicions were confirmed and they agreed together what they had suspected: “It is the Lord!”
We see that all of the disciples were excited to see Jesus as they started to move the boat to shore; but Peter takes it a step further—he jumps into the cold sea to swim to shore, desperate to get to Jesus.
What we should keep in mind today is that these men were the same ones who abandoned and rejected Jesus at the end of His life. You know that Peter denied Jesus three times after imploring Jesus that there would be no way he could ever deny Him. Jesus pursues them even after He has been sinned against by them. There are two things for us to walk away with today.
- We should be deeply encouraged that Jesus pursues us when we sin against Him. Even if our sin primarily affects another person, the truth is that we are ultimately sinning against Jesus, not ourselves or other people. When we sin, we are spitting in the face of Jesus, took nails in His wrists so that we might no longer be slaves to sin. The fact that Jesus would pursue us in our mess should lead us to be in awe of our savior.
- Those who have been forgive much love much. Peter is an amazing example of what our response to sin should be. He had surely been mournful of his sin, but he also knew that his sin is the reason Jesus died in the first place. He accepted the forgiveness that was expressed on the cross instead of wallowing in his sin, and was used by God to share this beautiful message of the forgiveness of sin with a multitude of people.
Are you thankful for the cross today? When you sin, are you quick to run to Jesus in repentance or do you feel like you are too dirty to come near Him? The conviction of the Holy Spirit that leads to repentance is a gift from God, just as His discipline is. But any feeling that you are too soiled by your sin to be washed by the blood of Jesus comes from Satan, not the cross. How can you grow in your acceptance and thankfulness of the cross?
By: Graham Withers