September 15: Forgiven and Commissioned

Read John 21:1-25

Peter had followed Christ for three years. As we read yesterday, when the pressure was on, this former fisherman denied knowing Jesus. Three times. After Peter’s denial, Jesus died, rose from the dead, and even appeared to Peter. Still, Peter returned to the boats and the nets. The boats and the nets from which Christ had originally called him. Was this just a one-day outing for old times’ sake? Was this the future that Peter now envisioned for himself after having failed his Lord? I suppose we don’t have enough information to know all of what was going through Peter’s mind.

We do know, however, that our Lord reaffirmed His original call to Peter to leave the fishing nets behind. In His first call, He’d commissioned Simon to “Come, follow (Him) and (to) make (him a) fisher of men” (Matt. 4:19). Now, once again at the shore of the sea, the Lord renewed that call with an assignment. “Feed My lambs. Take care of My sheep. Feed My sheep” (Jn. 21:15-17). The failure was forgiven. Peter was also commissioned to play an important part in the Savior’s plans!

But there is more. Jesus went on to point out that Peter would one day be led to somewhere he did “not want to go.” Although Peter did not know the full details of when, where, and how, he understood the what. He would be led to his own execution. That’s when he raised the question. Referring to John, he asked, “What about him?”

Let’s close with two quick thoughts. First of all, has something from your past caused you to leave the playing field of ministry and intimacy with Christ? Have you retreated to the bleachers where you only observe from a distance? Don’t let your past do that to you! Confess it. Receive God’s forgiveness. Be assured of His forgiveness and desire to continue to use you. He specializes in restoration.

Secondly, when you find yourself in the thick of a difficult situation, there is a natural tendency to pose the “What about him?” question. Put another way, the question reads, “Why not him?” or “Why me?” Rather than majoring on this thought of justice, Jesus wants us to focus on our own faithfulness. Your situation will be different from that of others. It is our responsibility to follow Him faithfully through our own life situations.


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