Happy New Year to you. It’s a new day and a new year. Thoughts of leaving behind the old and starting fresh fill my heart. The disciples had similar feelings after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. They had been with Jesus every day for three years, but everything changed. I think they were confused by the events of the last few days and how they interpreted the Scriptures.
Walking along, Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” The others followed and got into their boats. This is what they did before they walked with Jesus, so it makes sense that they would go fishing. However, these seasoned fishermen caught nothing that night. A man stood on the shore at dawn. “Have you caught anything?” He asked. The answer was a big fat nothing. He said, “Throw your nets on the right side and you’ll find some fish.” They did this and caught so many fish they had to drag in the nets. They counted 153 fish.
When the tired fishermen came to the beach, they recognized the man on the shore to be Jesus. He cooked their breakfast and they all ate. Then Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” He asked him three times, “Do you love me?” When Jesus was arrested and tried, Peter followed. Those around him said, “You are one of his disciples.” He denied it three times (John 21:16).
THINK ABOUT IT
Jesus didn’t scold Peter or judge him. Each time Peter responded to His question, “Yes, Lord, You know I love You,” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep” or “Take care of my lambs.” Jesus wanted Peter to renew His love for Him. Only then could he serve Him, and that’s what Peter did. He was a front runner in the early church. Because of his teaching, you and I know how to love and serve Jesus today.
We all deny Jesus in one way or another, but He is merciful to us as He was to Peter. He picks us up when we fall and sets our feet on the higher ground. Don’t let failure destroy you. Let it be a stepping stone to a restored faith and service to God.
The significance of the number of fish–153, is the same as the number of nations in the world at the time of this catch. This gives impact to Jesus’ last will and testament: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Marching orders for the disciples and for us.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Father God, for the gift of Jesus, His mercy and grace to restore us when we fall short of His glory. Help us to live in the light of our salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.