Summer Daily Devotional - John 21
I'm Going Fishing
The crucifixion of Jesus was the death blow to any hope the disciples carried. Have you ever been disappointed by something you thought should’ve happened but didn't?
The disciples sure had. Maybe they even felt set up...like God was pulling some kind of bad cosmic joke on them.
How could he proclaim the Kingdom of God, heal the sick, raise the dead, and then go and die on us?
And think of Peter. While the other disciples had fled, he was the only one who had disowned Jesus three times...all while Jesus watched. In other words, in Peters’ mind, the last time Jesus saw him, Peter had said to His face: “I don’t know you.”
It makes sense that out of such disappointment, such shame, such pit-in-your-stomach-I-can’t-believe-what-I-just-did discouragement, Peter would give up and say... “I’m going fishing.”
In other words, I’m going back to what I did before all this.
Back to what I was doing before Jesus found me.
Back to my old life.
Back to the way things were before Jesus called me.I’m going back.
Maybe you feel like God has led you down a road that ended with shattered hope. Maybe you even feel like it was a set up.
Let me assure you: it is a set up.
But it’s not a set up that ends in shame and hopelessness, but a set up intended to bring resurrection, forgiveness, and healing to your situation. It's beautiful how Jesus intentionally searches for Peter, and Jesus knew exactly where he'd be--fishing--where He found him the first time.
Can you imagine the mixed feelings Peter would have had upon seeing Jesus? He probably felt inexpressible joy at the shock of seeing Him alive followed by instant regret from what he had done. But Peter got to experience the relentless, never-ending pursuit of Jesus' love towards his friends. Jesus didn't shame him, he didn't bring up the past, he didn't shout out, "You left me!" Jesus simply said, "Follow me" like He said when He first found Peter.What are you tempted to go back to? What are those things you did before you found Jesus that you’re tempted to put your hope in again? Are you tempted to think the things you’ve done can’t be restored? That can’t be forgiven? That can't be redeemed?So the next time you're tempted to return to the old you--the old life--just remember Jesus loves to reinstate failures like you, like me, and like Peter.Jesus says to you the same thing He said to Peter, which is the same thing He said to you when you first believed: "Follow me."