Three times we see Jesus presenting Himself to the disciples after the resurrection. Twice in a locked room and once on the beach. Each time Jesus revealed more of Who He is and what He wanted to accomplished here on earth. In John 21:15-17, we see a very interesting interaction between Simon Peter and Jesus. We see the risen sacrificial Lamb, who according to Matt. 26:31, was going to cause all the disciples to stumble and scatter when the Shepherd was struck down before the night was through, and they all scattered. Scatter is an interesting word, it literally means, to run in random directions. Some ran to locked upper rooms, some ran to (Emmaus) places of obscurity and others ran to old lifestyles. Peter and seven other disciples ran to their old familiar comfort…fishing (John 21:3). It’s note worthy to point out, many of us when disappointed, in great despair and find ourselves in extreme discomfort run back to that which seems normal and comfortable from our past. It’s those old familiar lifestyles that we often seem to run back too. I might also point out, whenever we run back to embrace our past, those old lifestyles are never fulfilling or satisfying. It seems the disciples fished all night long and didn’t catch a fish.
On the beach (John 21:5-6), in the morning Jesus calls out, any luck? No, was the reply, not a fish. Cast your net on the right side of the boat, looking at each other, why not! what we’ve done all night hasn’t worked. We need to remember, when we run, we always end up on the wrong side of the boat, never being rewarded. We need to listen to the words of our risen Savior Jesus and cast our lot on the right side. Your choice, right side-wrong side. It’s here we see Jesus, as the shepherd who was struck down, but now a risen savior, coming to the place where the confused disciples were seeking comfort by going back to their familiar lifestyle…fishing. As they tried to experience comfort from fishing they caught nothing. We see Psa. 23:4, lived out. The Lord as our shepherd, Walk’s through the valley (low places, old places) of the shadow of death (dead-end places); He is there with us, using His rod (correction) and His staff (guidance) to comfort us. This comfort is seen as He asks Peter three times, “Do you love Me more than these?” These questions became a rod and staff that allowed Peter to experience true comfort, Gods Comfort and not his old lifestyle. In processing those three questions, Peter had to own up to his failure and betrayal toward Jesus. It was only then that Peter gets released from denying Christ into a true follower and disciple of the risen Savior. .
I want to end with my life testimony scripture and explain how Gods redemptive plan to restore those that have failed and fallen from their calling works. We see Peter grieved at being asked three times, Do you love Me. What was grieved was his heart for it needed to repent of pride and self-strength. In (Isa. 51:3), we see the Lord will first comfort all the waste places in your life. Places of false comfort you’ve run too when you desperately needed something or someone to satisfy you and you didn’t look to God. Second, the Lord will make your wilderness like the garden of Eden, where His presence is with you all the time. Third, He’ll restore the desert’s of your life with moisture and life. He’ll bring it all back again, a new beginning no longer dead but full of life. Lastly, in a song He’ll make Joy, Gladness and Thanksgiving become a melody in your life. As we run to false comforts know God will show up, even on our beach or in our locked rooms of our old lifestyle asking, Do you Love Me more than these? Do you want My comfort, which literally means to repent. Today, to find His comfort submit to His rod and staff and receive His Grace and Mercy.
Question: Where are you seeking your comfort? What do you run to when life disappoints you?
Key Thought: As you find your life in disarray and despair lets not run away to old lifestyles and the comforts they’re suppose to provide. But lets run to Jesus and receive His promise, found in His rod (correction) and staff(guidance). Believe with me, Heb. 13:5, “Keep your life free from_____(fill in the blank) and be content with what you have, for He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Contentment is great gain my friends.