Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Breakfast On The Beach

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

So, when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already made and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught. So, Simon Peter went up and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to inquire of Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. John 21:9-12

Breakfast On The Beach

It had been just a short time following Jesus’ death, and the disciples were still not back to their normal routines, but they were trying. Peter was most likely struggling after denying Jesus three times just before He was crucified. In fact, the last time he ever looked at His Savior, he had realized his sin. 

This particular morning, some of the disciples, including Peter, had been out fishing all night but they had not caught one single fish. A man standing on the shore called out to them to drop their nets on the other side of the boat.  They were frustrated with the results they were getting and decided they had nothing to lose by following the stranger’s advice.  They cast their nets on the other side of the boat and they caught so many fish that they could barely drag the net into the boat.  Immediately they knew who the stranger on the beach was. It was Jesus. John shouted, “It is the Lord!”  Jesus had been seen twice since His resurrection and this makes the third time.  Jesus’ response to that was “Come and eat breakfast.” 

Breakfast on the beach with Jesus. What an amazing invitation! Peter thought about how he had denied Jesus as he stepped out of the boat. How could he face Jesus?  Would Jesus bring it up?  

Jesus did bring it up, but not the way Peter expected:

So, when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep.”   John 21:15-17

Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him. Some think Jesus was giving Peter the opportunity to proclaim three times out loud his love for Jesus, just as he had denied him three times. He was also subtly reminding Peter of his sin while giving him an important job to carry on, assuring Peter of His love for him and His trust in him to lead others.  In fact, Jesus entrusted Peter with something that was very important to Him – feeding His sheep. What Jesus meant by that was that He was entrusting Peter with shepherding His flock - Christians. He gave Peter a special job, even after Peter had betrayed Him. 

Jesus had the chance to condemn Peter, but He didn’t. Instead, He welcomed him with open arms, cooked him a meal, sat and visited with him, taught him something new and challenged him. Most of all, He loved him, and Peter knew that he was loved and forgiven.  He knew that Jesus loved him even when he denied Him. 

Jesus doesn’t discard us when we fail Him. He doesn’t stop loving us or stop using us for His glory - He restored Peter to ministry. Peter probably thought that he was done doing the Lord’s work forever because of his sin. But Jesus restored him, and He will do the same for us.  

In our brokenness, He showers us with grace, mercy, and love. He invites us to Him, just as He did Peter, when He has every right to turn us away forever. We are completely undeserving of His unconditional love. He loves us and gives us another chance at obedience, and another, and another, and another.  He does not reproach. In His eternal display of unfathomable love He redeems, He renews, and He restores.   

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