“I’m going fishing,” Simon Peter said to them. “We’re coming with you,” they told him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When daybreak came, Jesus stood on the shore. However, the disciples did not know it was Jesus. “Men,” Jesus called to them, “you don’t have any fish, do you? ” “No,” they answered. “Cast the net on the right side of the boat,” He told them, “and you’ll find some.” So they did, and they were unable to haul it in because of the large number of fish. Therefore the disciple, the one Jesus loved, said to Peter, “It is the Lord! ” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around him (for he was stripped) and plunged into the sea. But since they were not far from land (about 100 yards away), the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus told them. So Simon Peter got up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish — 153 of them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus told them. None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You? ” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.” John 21:3-14
Simon Peter was a natural leader-but he was not a natural saint! Jesus spent years teaching Peter that it was better to fish for men than for fish; that it was better to give than to recieve, to gain your life than lose it, etc. But for Peter, just like it is for me, when the pressure was on, he went back to what was familiar to him.
Peter had fallen. He had announced at dinner that “Lord, even if all of these (refering to the other disciples) forsake you, I’ll never do that-no, I’ll even died for you. Sadly, just a few hours later when confronted by a little girl about his affiliation with Jesus, Peter totally caved, 3 times denying that he even knew Jesus!
Peter was broken. So distraught was he from failing Jesus, he reportedly locked eyes with Jesus, Who was being illegally tried on High Preist Caiaphas’ porch at the very moment that the cock crowed following Peter’s 3rd denial of Jesus, and Peter ran out sobbing (Matthew 26:75). So broken is Peter that he returns to his former vocation of fishing (vs. 3). The other disciples follow him. They fish all night with no success. At dawn, a stranger on the shore inquires as to their luck fishing overnight. “Nothing” Peter replies, “we’ve caught nothing”. The stranger suggests fishing from the other side of the boat. Peter begins to wonder about the stranger and, against his better judgement, complies. He hauls in a net full of fish, and better yet confirms his suspicious that the stranger is indeed, Jesus! Peter peels off his clothes, dives in and swims to shore, again abandoning his boat full of fish, and headed straight for Jesus!
I, like Peter, have sometimes been guilty of bailing on Jesus and His assingments for my life when things didn’t appear to be working out and heading back to what I’m comfortable with: my way of doing things and funding things and approching things. My hope is that when I recognize Jesus and where He’s working in my life, despite my abandoning Him, that I, like Peter, have the courage to dive “all-in” to head back to Jesus! Hope that’s your desire too.
Think about it!