Dawn breaks on the Sea of Tiberius and a night of empty fishnets; I am tired and a little depressed. After all, fishing for fish was once my profession.
Overcome with a physical tiredness that comes with failing at what I know how to do, I look to the shore to see if anyone sees me.
Yearning to stop and go eat breakfast, alas I have nothing to cook—no fish in this boat!
On the shore I strain to see someone walking along the shore and I smell the scent of fish cooking on a hot fire. I smell bread warming on the coals. Boy, I am hungry!
Unknown to me someone has fixed a small breakfast and now he calls to me to ask if I have any fish? What could I say, except, “No.”
“Let down your nets one more time on the other side of the boat,” he says. I don’t know why I do it, except I guess I wanted to prove him wrong, but I do it!
Overwhelming numbers of fish seem to jump in that net as I try to draw it into the boat. More fish than that net has ever held before are now being drawn up. I look with total surprise to the shore at the stranger who is walking back to his breakfast.
Very quickly, my fishing buddy, John, says to me, “It is Jesus, the Lord.” I looked at John and then to the man on the shore. Almost in shock, I put my clothes on and swam eagerly to the shore to meet Jesus.
Entry into that cold water awakened in me the doubts about what I had done to Jesus—I had denied I even knew him!
Making my way to the shore, I stand amazed that Jesus is there welcoming me and telling me to bring some of the fish to cook alongside his breakfast. So, I jump back into the water and help bring the nets to shore and bring some of the fish to Jesus and he cooks them for me. I have memories of almost three years ago and another miraculous catch of fish that I witnessed.
Empty, I felt as I remembered. This man, Jesus, had said then that I would be a fisher of men. Yet, I had denied him last week. Does he still believe that about me, that I will be a fisher of men? What would he say now? What would he ask of me today? Would he ask “Why?” Hesitantly, I return to sit and eat with him without any words being spoken. Then he looks at me and asks just one question—“Peter, do you love me?”
He still asks those who believe in him today, “Do You Love Me?” That’s the only question for you today. He says if you do, then “Follow Me.”
The Path Continues…