Back at the Beginning?

Note from JesusDear Disciple,

Sometimes things have a way of repeating themselves. The events in the verses below occurred after My resurrection. The apostle Peter and six of My other disciples were back where Peter was when I first called him to follow me (Luke 5:1-11); they were fishing. Once again, they caught no fish during a long night of fishing. Once again, I directed them how to catch fish, and they netted a huge haul of fish. After experiencing the miraculous catch of fish earlier when I was calling My first disciples, Peter fell at My feet and said:I can’t take this, Lord. I’m a sinful man. You shouldn’t be around the likes of me.
(Luke 5:8).I then called Peter to leave his life as a fisherman and follow Me to start reaching people with My good news.

After over three years of ministry with Me, Peter was back where he began. But I needed him ready to lead My disciples to take the good news to the world. However, Peter’s failure stood in the way. Despite My warning, he denied Me three times on the night I was betrayed. Despite his claims that he would not fail Me even if the other disciples did, he failed to live up to his word. Peter’s failure stood in the way of his leadership.

There was that other problem in the verses below: a problem symbolized by Peter’s jumping into the water, swimming ashore, and leaving the other men behind in the boat to take care of the fish. Peter needed to humble himself, do the little things that needed to be done and live faithfully for Me. Most importantly, the confession that he was a sinful man didn’t happen this second time. Enough time had passed for Peter to own the ways he had failed Me on the night I was betrayed. He had not done so. My appearance to Peter and the apostles on the beach — see the verses below — was My third appearance to them after My resurrection. Peter had not yet confessed his failure and asked for forgiveness from the disciples or Me.

Bottom line: Peter’s failure and his brash bravado stood in the way of his being a great servant leader in the new church that was about to be born. So I began My ministry of restoration with Peter. I would firmly, but lovingly, help him confront his failure in front the men who knew it best. I seized this opportunity to help Peter remember — to remember his initial call to become a fisherman for people and follow Me and to remember his failure to live up to his brash promises.

In tomorrow’s verses, you will join Me as I directly but lovingly confront and restore Peter. Today, however, I want you to think about how your own sin and failure can make you feel as if you have to start all over and as if you have to win My trust and earn your right to My grace. Please know that is not true.

I long to forgive and restore you. I do ask that you own your failure, that you trust the sufficiency of My grace, and that you get back to following Me. But don’t let shame destroy you. Don’t let your pride keep you from being honest with Me and others. Don’t let the evil one cloud your heart with doubts about My love for you. I long to restore you. I want to use you to grow My kingdom and share My grace. I will use your failures to help you learn to be gracious and empathetic with others so they can be restored, too. I did it with Peter. I will do it with you!

Believe in My love for you. Rely on the grace I have for you. Trust the plans that I have to use you. Follow me!Verses to LiveNotice how similar this situation is to the first call of Peter (Luke 5:1-11). Then notice how these two events are different.

Why do you think I chose for this to be the scene of My third appearance to the apostles after My resurrection?

What do you think would have happened to Peter and his leadership if I had not confronted him about his failure before I returned to the Father?There was one other time when Jesus appeared to the disciples — this time by the Sea of Tiberias. This is how it happened: Simon Peter, Thomas (the Twin), Nathanael (the Galilean from Cana), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.

Simon Peter (to disciples):I am going fishing.Disciples:Then we will come with you.They went out in the boat and caught nothing through the night. As day was breaking, Jesus was standing on the beach; but they did not know it was Jesus.

Jesus:My sons, you haven’t caught any fish, have you?Disciples:No.Jesus:Throw your net on the starboard side of the boat, and your net will find the fish.They did what He said, and suddenly they could not lift their net because of the massive weight of the fish that filled it. The disciple loved by Jesus turned to Peter and said:

Beloved Disciple:It is the Lord.Immediately, when Simon Peter heard these words, he threw on his shirt (which he would take off while he was working) and dove into the sea. The rest of the disciples followed him, bringing in the boat and dragging in their net full of fish. They were close to the shore, fishing only about 100 yards out. When they arrived on shore, they saw a charcoal fire laid with fish on the grill. He had bread too.

Jesus (to disciples):Bring some of the fish you just caught.Simon Peter went back to the boat to unload the fish from the net. He pulled 153 large fish from the net. Despite the number of the fish, the net held without a tear.

Jesus:Come, and join Me for breakfast.Not one of the disciples dared to ask, “Who are You?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus took the bread and gave it to each of them, and then He did the same with the fish. This was the third time the disciples had seen Jesus since His death and resurrection.
(John 21:1-14)Response in PrayerO Father, thank You for grace. Thank You for repentance. Thank You for new starts. Thank You for being the God of comfort, forgiveness, and grace. I own my failures — I confess them to You and trust You will completely remove the guilt of my sin from me. I trust You will remove my sin from me as far as the east is from the west. I commit to follow Jesus, to live for Him, and to love You with all that I am and to love others by sharing Your grace with them. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Back at the Beginning?
Source: Passion for Praise