LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Peter and six other disciples were floundering in their faith. They had lived for three years with the Messiah, only to see Him brutally killed. They had seen Him on two previous occasions following His resurrection, but even if they were convinced He was alive they were not yet sure what that meant for them. What were they going to do now? Jesus wasn’t making any huge public pronouncement of His conquering of death. He hadn’t marched into Pilate’s palace and proclaimed Himself the King. He didn’t show up at a meeting of the Sanhedrin to prove Himself to the Pharisees and Sadducees. Imagine the looks on their faces if He had. He also hadn’t gone to the temple to tear down the new curtain that had been quickly put up to replace the torn one. Wouldn’t that have proved to the priests that their services were no longer necessary because He was now the eternal High Priest?  All He had done was quietly appear to a few of His followers to assure them that all was well. But how could they have peace if they didn’t know the plan?

So, they decided to return to their former way of life. Peter initiated the move and said he was going fishing. The others joined him. They wanted to believe but at this point they had no real purpose. Maybe they could get their fishing business back up and running so they could at least survive in society. But that first night out produced nothing. How discouraged they must have been. In fact, they were so discouraged that they took advice about where to fish from an unidentified “friend” on the shore. Something about His voice and His advice felt familiar, but they couldn’t wrap their minds around it. At this point, though, they would try anything.

John 21:4-6 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.”

It worked! They caught more fish than they could bring into the boat. They were amazed that the net held them all. Dollar signs started flashing in their minds. They started to believe that they were going to make it after all. Whoever this person was had given them the break they needed. Their business was immediately reborn, and their hope was immediately restored.

But then John recognized the man on the shore – it was Jesus. He quickly told Peter, who did something truly amazing: he left the business behind and went to meet his Lord. So deep was his love for Jesus that he jumped into the water and swam to shore to see Him. So great was Peter’s respect for Jesus that he put on his outer garment before he jumped in the water so he would look his best when he got there. Most of us take clothes off to go swimming. It didn’t matter to Peter that his garment would be wet and droopy – he just wanted to be at his best when he saw Him.

When the others arrived at the shore with the fish, Jesus told them to bring some of them to eat. What? Eat the profits? Their futures depended on selling these fish so the business could get started again. It was their security. Even eating a few would hurt the bottom line. What possible purpose could Jesus have in asking them to eat the fish? What possible benefit would they realize by doing this?

But Jesus was teaching them a lesson that we all need to learn. Everything that God provides for us in this life is to be used to further His kingdom. Jesus proceeded to ask Peter three questions (which we will deal with more tomorrow). Jesus showed them that the purpose of God supersedes our ambitions. God blessed their fishing trip with huge success, and then He asked them to use their gains to equip themselves to accomplish His purpose. Jesus provided for them so they could serve Him. Jesus fed them so that they could feed others. He tested their love for Him against their love for the world, and they chose Him. Whether or not they kept their fishing boats and business after this is not important. They probably did. We know that the Apostle Paul kept up his business of tent making. But what is truly significant is that they used all the material benefits of their business to serve their King and advance His cause and not their own. Jesus asked them to love Him more than anything they had in the world and use it all for His purpose.

He’s asking us the same questions. Do you love Him more than all you have? Will you use all He provides for you on the earth to serve Him and advance His cause and not your own? Will you be known to the world as a success, or will you be known by God as a servant? 

Important questions. How will you answer them today?

Pastor John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s