Fishing Buddies or More

fishingboatThis is one of those days when I wish we could just sit on my back porch and talk at length about Jesus. Nothing lifts my heart more than a friend who will talk about the Lord with me, especially when it comes to understanding His love for us and our love for Him. Since we can’t talk face to face, I will do my best to relay my thoughts to you in this short space I have, keeping within the form of the rest of our days.

Before we discuss our passage, we need to recall what took place before Peter and the disciples took this fishing trip, a trip that brought them back to where they had first met Jesus. On the  night before Jesus’ arrest, He was encouraging the twelve to love one another, for this would be how the world would know they belonged to Him. He also tried to prepare them for the difficult hours to follow.

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.’ Peter answered him, ‘Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’  Peter said to him, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!’ And all the disciples said the same.” Matthew 26:30-35 (ESV)

Nevertheless, not long after this discussion, we find Peter sitting in the courtyard, and just as Jesus had foretold, Peter denied the Lord three times. What a tragedy for Peter. The guilt he felt must have been overwhelming to him after he said, “I do not know this man,” not once, but three times. No wonder he wanted to just go back to the sea, a place that was familiar to him, a place he had once enjoyed fishing with his buddies. We return to our story in verse 3…

“’I’m going fishing,’ Simon Peter said to them. ‘We’re coming with you,’ they told him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.”

The text says they fished all night without success. Peter had buddies fishing with him. He didn’t need yet another. What Peter needed was an experienced guide.  He needed Jesus. Jesus acted as a guide to His disciples, who trusted Him even though they could not see the fish. My husband informs me it is very common for someone on shore to see a school of fish not visible to those in a boat, but I don’t want us to focus on the success of the fishing venture. I want to consider the character and identity of the guide who was telling them what to do.

Psalm 23:6 (HCSB)
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.

Can you think of a time Jesus showed up when you least expected Him and demonstrated  His love for you?

Just like with the disciples, each time Jesus identifies Himself to us through His love, He wants to become more than just a buddy to us. His goal is to become our guide. He has a lot more in mind for us than just one successful fishing trip together. Please take a few minutes and thank Him for his love and goodness to You!

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