Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
21 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
I read this today. It’s from John 21. I love this story. I love the imagery. I can totally picture Jesus on the shore, calling to His beloved disciples, urging them to let down their net on the right side of the boat. I can see the disciples trying to lift up the net that’s now overflowing with fish, the eyes of their hearts opening as they realize what’s happening, becoming overwhelmed with inexpressible joy.
My absolute favorite image is of Peter throwing himself into the sea to get to Jesus. Such profound love and faith when you consider the other instance he got of the boat. On that occasion he proudly walked on water, like he was performing some amazing illusion. I’ve never doubted his love for the Lord, but he just didn’t get it yet. His life was still about him and what he could do in his own strength.
But in this new chapter he’s different. He knows how he betrayed the Lord, knows how the Lord knew he would betray Him, yet Jesus is on the shore, blessing them like nothing bad ever happened, like Peter never betrayed Him. Finally, Peter gets it, understands how much the Lord loves him and in complete surrender, throws himself into the sea because he can’t be with Jesus fast enough.
Oh how I love Jesus like this. Like Peter, I would throw myself into the sea just to be by His side that much faster. Why? you might be wondering. Because He loves me, flaws, imperfections, pride, stubbornness and all. Because He knew I would betray Him and He took me back anyway!
There is no greater, more profound love than this. If you don’t know this love, I pray you find it.