SCRIPTURE: John 21:1-19
Last week, we talked about Jesus the teacher. Not only was Jesus a teacher, but he lived the life that he taught about. That lead me to this week’s scripture.
Fishing is not my thing! I learned to fish in the woods of Maine with my grandfather. We dug our own worms while being eaten alive by mosquitos. Killing worms was not fun. We fished from a very small boat. Grandpa told me this is how Mainers do it! Now I go to Stewart’s and buy worms.
There is a lot of preparation, anticipation, and disappointment in fishing. This is exactly where we enter this text in a moment of frustration for these fishermen. They have been fishing all night to no avail. They are tired and disappointed. They just want to go home. Suddenly, there stands Jesus. He tells them to go back out and try again. He gives them to put the nets on the right side of the boat. At first, the disciples did not recognize Jesus but they followed his instructions anyway. Was it their desperation for a catch, a love of fishing, a desire for success, a sense of the specialness of the man instructing them to go back out and try again, or something else? Whatever the motivation, they went back out and found great success. They caught 153 fish! Then, they had breakfast with the man that they now recognized as Jesus. They became fishers of men. Following the call of Jesus often means putting your nets back into the sea even though you are tired and have had no success. It means knocking on another door even though you may wish that no one answers. Jesus didn’t give up and we shouldn’t either.
The second part of this passage is related to Peter and his relationship with Jesus. Peter is mentioned first as one of the disciples on the shore. As this exchange occurs, the other disciples who had been present in the fishing scene disappear. This happens because the church, without Jesus physically present needed Peter as the rock as Jesus intended him to be. The call “feed my sheep” meant that Peter needed to love and lead Jesus’ followers. It was an important step in the future of the church. (Verses 15-17) Jesus said to Peter, “Do you love me?” It was something that we all have to decide in our own lives. If we love Jesus, we are going to follow him and the scriptures. Jesus said in John 14, if we love him, we will obey his commands and his teaching.
There will be times when we feel that we need to be ministered to but Jesus has other plans for us. He wants us to be leaders, lead by example, and be actively involved in ministry within the body of Christ. Jesus challenges us to do the same thing that He told Peter to do. That is we need to take care of each other. Many people hated the Apostle Paul because of his love for Jesus Christ. He was persecuted, thrown in jail, and beaten for his love and service to Jesus Christ. That didn’t stop Peter from sharing his love of Jesus with other people.
We need to be focused on Jesus. When we are focused on Him, looking to Him, listening to His words and teachings, we are motivated to lead Christlike lives. We are motivated to lead within the body of Christ and share his teachings with others. Are you willing to accept the challenge to leadership in the way that God has intended? Are you willing to minister to others? If so, follow Him! That is what Jesus wants us to do!