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April 19 -- John 21:1-14

“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.” –John 21:7 (NIV)

This was the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after rising from the dead. He made them breakfast on the shore as they were out fishing on the Sea of Galilee. In fact, this encounter was a more relational version of the one Jesus first had with these fishermen—the one where He called them to be His disciples (see Luke 5).

In both this passage and Luke 5, we are told that the men had caught nothing, and Jesus directed them to let down their net for a catch. In both instances, the net nearly broke because there were so many fish! Since this encounter in John 21 was a reprise of the miracle that occurred at their discipleship call, John immediately knew the man on the distant shore was Jesus, and Peter was so excited that he jumped into the water and swam to the shore. He could not wait to see his Savior!

Read Luke 5:1-11 and then read John 21:1-14 again. Why do you suppose Jesus performed this same miracle a second time for His disciples?

Perhaps it was meant to be a reminder of where they started together and how far they had come. It was certainly one more way to strengthen the disciples’ faith for all that lay ahead of them. But to fix them breakfast as well? What a warm welcome the food and the fire must have been, made all the warmer by Jesus’ Presence and His love for them!

Thinking of this warm welcome, it is easy to see why Peter longed for it, and yet, Peter’s eagerness to be alone with Jesus before the rest of the disciples arrived on shore is a bit surprising. Jesus and Peter hadn’t had a one-on-one conversation since Peter’s denial, which Peter had felt shame and regret over. So, here’s the lesson for us…

When we sin, we can be tempted to avoid time alone with God. We can let our shame and guilt drive us away. They should do just the opposite because we know how loving and merciful our God is! When we feel like hiding, we should will ourselves to run to Jesus (or swim) as hard and as fast as we can! There is always healing and acceptance in the arms that were stretched out on the cross for us.

Spend some time alone with Jesus today. If you feel shame or guilt, confess what you have done, and rest in His forgiveness. Thank Him that His love for you is unconditional. You can’t do anything that will make Him love you any more or any less. You are His beloved child—and always will be.

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My name is Melissa Anderson. I'm a spiritual director and ordained pastor who loves God, people, and words. You can read more about me by clicking the button below.

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