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1 John 4:19 NLT
“None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord.”
Maybe one of the most moving places in all of Scripture is recorded in John 21. Jesus has died and risen but not yet ascended back to heaven. As for his student and friend, Peter, he was back out fishing. Nothing wrong with that, except that was his life before Jesus called him to be something else. And that’s what shame will do – drive us back into what Jesus called us out of. This was, after all, just days after Peter had denied Jesus.
Peter was a failure. A goner. Not someone that could really ever be used again in any kind of great way. So Jesus appears at the shore. Most likely ready to come down hard on Peter, right?
“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’
‘No,’ they answered.
He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’
None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.”
If you read on later, this is where Jesus restores Peter and his calling.
But I love that Jesus didn’t even bring up the failure in this moment. He knew Peter had already repented. He knew they would address some things in the right time. In this moment, though, He just wanted Peter to know He loved him, He wasn’t through with him, He still had a plan for him.
Maybe like Peter, you’ve had a rough week. Maybe even a rough last night. Maybe a rough few years. You think God’s words for you are, “go straighten your life up and get back with me.” Instead, may you hear His voice today say, “Come, let’s have breakfast.”
I don’t care how bad you’ve messed up. If you still have breath, God isn’t through with you. You’re not too far gone. You’re not second-rate. You’re not too damaged for God to restore you and do something great through your life. Jesus is calling from the shore. If you listen carefully enough, you’ll hear a tone of mercy and grace, not shame and condemnation.
May sound weird, but during this fast, let’s commit to breakfast with Jesus every morning. Don’t let shame drive you away from the table. Whatever is going on, talk to Him, be with Him, and let Him speak to you over some coffee and eggs.
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