Moving from Luke 22 to John 21 we are in the post-resurrection period. Seven of the 11 disciples are at sea and are attempting to catch fish. The Master comes and guides them. A net full of fish results. Jesus gathers them around a fire and they eat roast fish together.
After the meal He turns to Peter and seeks to restore His friend and follower. “Peter, do you love me more than these?”
I can imagine for Peter an arch of pain goes through his stomach, then anguish of soul, and finally release. “Aaah, the Lord is coming for me, He still loves me?” “I will go there with Him.” “Lord, you know I love you,” said Peter. “I will soon be free of this plague of failure which has bound me ever since He died.” “I know my denial sent Him there. Maybe, now I can get past my remorse for failing Him so badly.”
The Lord ask Peter the same question again, and then again. The Lord asks Peter the question three times. It was three times that Peter was asked a question and denied that he knew the Lord in the courtyard of the high priest’s house in response to each question.
So, what is Jesus doing here on the shore? Jesus wants Peter. He wants Peter to understand that even denial and betrayal is forgivable. Jesus wants Peter to see the resurrected Jesus–the One who died for Peter’s sins and the sins of all others who come seeking forgiveness.
Where would Peter have been if the Lord had not pursued him as He did at the shore? How would His life have been different if the Lord never engaged Him directly?
I am seeing this encounter with Peter as life changing. Peter can now throw off the sin and turn from his past. Peter will become a new man because of the Lord’s pursuit of him today.
We see the results in the remainder of the New Testament. Peter lives to call men and women to their Savior and to guard and feed the Lord’s sheep. Peter is a great example for us. Though we have sinned and grieved our Lord, we can be renewed and restored. We may hear the call to a flock of a few or of hundreds.
We desperately need to see the Lord pursuing us as He pursued Peter. The Lord seeks to restore us by His love and grace.
Seek Him and you will find Him. Know that He does pursue you. Submerge yourself in His love.