FISHERS OF MEN (Pt. 4)

“Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught” (‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭10‬ NIV).

If you have ever read this account (John Chapter 21), You probably have asked this question: “Couldn’t Jesus have performed a miracle like he did when he fed the five thousand with a few loaves and a couple of fish?”  Why didn’t he here? After all, He is the risen Lord; Death did not have the last word over him. But I believe there is a reasonable answer implied in John’s telling of the story.
He discerned that Jesus wanted to announce something new to his disciples.  There was something new in the earth which had begun as a result of His resurrection.
NO DISTINCTION
There was to be no longer a distinction between Jesus and His disciple’s ministry (See John 12:23-24;14:12). It would ,from henceforth, be recognized as”One catch”… “One Ministry”.  His resurrection announced the new creation in the earth; “One head and One body” coordinated and functioning together. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it”(‭Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭4-7‬ NIV).
RESTORATION
The reconstruction of the setting of the coals,fire and fish was for Simon Peter’s benefit.  Jesus was present to restore a fallen apostle. This fireside chat would mend and heal their broken fellowship. Recall that Peter had denied his Lord three times when Jesus was put on trial by the religious leaders of his day. Peter, who was called to be “a rock”, proved that his courage had been quite brittle in the face of personal identification (& potential death) with Jesus.
Our Lord’s love for Peter was manifest in the question He asked (3 times), “Simon, son of John, Do you love me?”(See John 21:15-17). To which Simon Peter answered, “Yes” to His Lord (3 times).  (John is gracious not to record it, but I cannot help but believe that Peter wept while affirming his love again for Jesus).
Restoration for Peter was not merely to receive forgiveness but to be made fully whole in the presence of the Master. It is God’s way of extending grace and mercy. Our healing from our failures means that we are put back together as whole people. In other words, forgiveness is an entry point for our full recovery.
A GREAT HAUL
Jesus recommissioned the apostle Peter saying, “Feed My sheep…Feed My lambs”(John 21:15,17). From that moment on Peter proved to be more effective than before his fall. We read of the effect of his message on the Day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2.  “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls”(‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭37-41‬ NASB).
Not bad, for one who formerly could not admit to a little maid servant that he knew Jesus. His message brought over three thousand souls into the kingdom of God with the “first throw” of his gospel net!
When Jesus says, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”, He means it.  Only HE can draw men to God. Only Jesus saves.
But when called by God,like Peter, our failures are no excuse.  With faith and gratitude for His mercy, we must take the same attitude as the apostle Paul (Once a persecuting murderer…Now a converted preacher!) “For I have an obligation to all peoples, to the civilized and to the savage, to the educated and to the ignorant….I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles. For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live”(‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭14, 16-17‬ GNB).

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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