In the last couple of post we have been looking at the encounter between Jesus and Peter after Peter denied Jesus three times. We talked about his intentions were not to deny Christ but he did anyway and how we are like this – we think others should be impressed with our intentions. We looked at being sorry and about what it really means to backslid. We are going to continue today by looking at Christ calling us and questioning us and we are gaining all this by looking at John 21 – click here to read it.
Sometimes we don’t realize when Christ is calling to us. The disciples had been fishing all night and caught nothing. In the morning Christ came to them and they saw him on the shore, but they didn’t recognize Him. This was not the first post resurrection appearance of Christ, they should have recognized Him; but they didn’t. Perhaps it was their sin, or their pre-occupation with their nets, or some other reason that they did not recognize Him. Perhaps we have missed Christ when He has called to us because we were preoccupied. What is it that you are preoccupied with? Maybe you are pre-occupied with good things but they are not the best thing. Are you preoccupied with family, or church, or sports, or something else that is a good thing? When we are preoccupied with these sorts of things and not Christ we miss what Christ is trying to say to us. The best thing to be is preoccupied with is Christ and when you are preoccupied with Him you will not miss what he is saying to you. What kind of things does Christ say or ask?
When we encounter Christ, He asks questions to get us thinking about failure and success. When Christ appeared on the shore, He asked, "Have you caught anything?" It was a question to reveal that the disciples efforts did not work when they were done apart from Christ. Then after breakfast, Christ asked Peter, "Do you love me?" Again, it was a question that made him think about his failure. We have to think about our backslidden condition before we will do anything about it. Let me ask you – have you ever had Christ ask you questions? Do you think about your failures? Are you one who then thinks about your failures and then changes them or do you just keep repeating them? What is it you need to change to be successful in Christ? If you have something you are doing that is sinful and you know the right thing to do – when you do not do the right thing – you are sinning according to James 4:17! Let us not live in sin but let us do the right things!
Something else to consider: We do impetuous things when encountering Christ. Think about the story and how impetuous Peter was when he saw Jesus. When Peter realized that Jesus was standing on the shore, Peter first put on his tunic, while most would remove heavy garments when attempting to swim a long distance. Then he dove into the water to swim to shore. He probably didn’t think about what he was doing, if anything, he was not thinking about his actions. He just automatically did what was natural. It was an impetuous response of love and excitement. When was the last time that you simply got excited about what Christ was doing or about Christ showing up were you were? If we cannot be excited about Christ – what can we be excited about?
What happens when we get excited about Christ and the encounter we have with Him? We do extraordinary things when we are excited about Christ. As we just saw Peter swam to the shore wearing his long tunic, then when the boat reached shore, Peter ran to pull the net filled with fishes to shore. John 21:11 tells us Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. This was an amazing feat, because previously seven men in the boat had a hard time hauling it in because of the great number of fish! Some say this was a miracle, others think it was simply Peter being so excited that he pulled the net to shore with a sudden burst of energy. Again, I ask you when was the last time you got excited about what Christ was doing. When was the last time you got so excited about what Christ was doing that you got involved in what He was doing? When was the last time you got so excited that you encouraged others rather than discouraged them? When was the last time you were like Peter and so full of excitement that the Lord was able to do something amazing through you?
What are the things that really get you excited when it comes to Christ?