My devotions were about the third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after he rose from the dead. You can find the story in John 21:4-17. It is another “fish story”. It’s the best yet!
The disciples are back to their old profession, fishing together at Peter’s urging. Even though they fished all night, they caught nothing. Jesus is watching them from the shore, but they are not aware that it’s Him.
Jesus calls out to the disciples in the little ship, “Have you any meat?”
They answered Him, “No.”
Jesus tells them, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.”
They do what he asks, and as they feel their nets become heavy with a great amount of fish, one of the disciples tells Peter that it is Jesus on the shore. Peter is so excited that he grabs a fishing coat, because he wasn’t wearing any clothing, and jumps in the sea. They weren’t too far out, about 200 cubits, and Peter swam to shore. He helps haul in that great catch, that surprisingly does not break the net.
Then Jesus, who already has a fire of coals, some fish and bread, tells them to bring the fish they caught, and come and dine with Him. There is something about sharing food together that creates a bond.
It is at this dinner that Jesus gives Peter a chance to rectify the three times he denied Jesus before He was crucified. Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times. The first time He asks Peter if he loves Him more than these, and Peter replies that he does. Jesus tells him to feed His lambs. He asks a second time if Peter loves Him. Peter tells Jesus that He knows he loves Him, and Jesus tells him to feed His sheep. A third time Jesus asks this question. Now Peter is grieved about Jesus asking him, and he tells Jesus that because He knows all things, He knows that he loves Him. Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep again.
At the Passover Feast, before Jesus was crucified, Peter thought he would fight for Jesus to the death. He was sure he would never deny Him. Jesus already knew that he would. Even as followers of Christ, we can fall away, be led to sin, even deny Christ. Jesus wants Peter to know at the dinner table, that He is forgiven, and that he has a duty to show his love to Him by “feeding His lambs and sheep”.
After that, Peter was faithful unto death.
Jesus was giving us assurance too, that when we sin, fall away, even deny Him, that He will still dine with us, still forgive us, and still love us, and include us in His plans!
Jesus calls sinful men and women to His dinner table. He gives us opportunities to declare and prove our love. Salvation is a free gift, but if we deny Jesus before men, He will deny us before the Father. Do we love Jesus enough to be a living proof?
Jesus, help me to show you that I love You with action and deeds, along with telling You I do.