On the journey of life, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong - we get lost. And we need someone to help us get back on track.
Everyday our paths bump into Jesus whether we recognize it or not. How do you handle the daily interactions with Jesus, when He attempts to transform us.
We are a lot like Peter. We get lost, Jesus pursues us, and points us in the right direction.
“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon Peter, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon Peter answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.””
Peter had been fishing all night and was dead tired. Initially, Peter did what Peter often did with Jesus, he argued - and for good cause - what did a carpenter know about fishing. Do you ever argue with Jesus?
What happened? Peter, perhaps too tired to argue further...
“Simon Peter answered, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!””
Peter is lost. How did Jesus respond to Peter?
“Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”
He pointed Peter in the right direction. And Peter was never the same again.
But then Peter got lost again...
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.”
And Jesus came after Him. Peter argues...
“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Had Jesus changed his life? HE WALKED IN WATER!!! Don't miss that!
Jesus miraculously saved Him, pointed Him in the right direction, and made Peter a little more like himself - a water walker!
Has Jesus ever saved you, ever pointed you in the right direction, ever made you a little more like Him?
But then we let the circumstances of life get in the way and blur our vision, mess up our faith...
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.""
Jesus was saying, you were so close, you almost did it, keep you eyes on Me, have faith, you can do it! Has that ever happened to you?
Jesus changed His life. He grew his faith. Was that the end? Did Peter ever get lost again?
On the night of Jesus capture, Peter denied knowing Him three times. Peter was lost again.
Peter really screwed up this time. He feels he can't recover from this. So he gives up, Jesus is gone, Peter is totally depressed, and so he goes back to what he was doing before he met Jesus: fishing.
““I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 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. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!””
And that's what he did. Jesus saved him from a life of despair, pointed him in the right direction, and made Peter more like Himself. Peter became the leader of the early church, dedicated his life to feeding Jesus' lambs (new 'Christians'), and followed Jesus all the way to the cross - he died by being crucified up-side-down. He became much like Jesus.
What about you? Are you lost? Do you need direction? Are you ready to become more like Jesus?
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