“How well do you know Jesus?”. This question has been on my heart for a while now. It started several weeks ago when I was cleaning out my dog kennel. I love listening to podcasts and sermons on YouTube, so whenever I am doing anything around the house or with my dogs I am usually listening to something. I was listening to a sermon and it was really good, [must have been Pastor Matt :)], and out of nowhere the thought popped into my head, “Do you ever just stop listening to stuff and spend time with God?” I have my speculations of where that thought came from, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. After that thought, I shut the sermon off and just started talking with God. Soon after, my aunt challenged someone else in my family with the question, “How well do you know Jesus?” The question wasn’t meant for me, but oh did it penetrate my mind. “How well DO I know Jesus?” The next thought that came into my mind was, “I don’t know, but not well enough!” I’m so glad my aunt asked that question because it has sent me on a more in-depth mission to get to know my Lord and Savior Jesus. I want to share with you all a story that you have all heard before but has come alive to me in my recent pursuit.
It is the story of Peter being restored by Jesus. Thankfully, we have four gospels with four different viewpoints so we can get more and more details, it’s almost like God did that on purpose.
When Jesus originally called Peter to be a disciple (Luke 5:1-11), He told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat and Peter reluctantly did what Jesus said, catching 2 boatfuls of fish. Fast forward to after Jesus’ arrest, Peter angrily denies knowing Jesus not once but 3 times. Try to imagine someone denying they even knew you or that they were ever associated with you. Jesus was so physically close to Peter in this moment that they made eye contact after Peter denied Him. (Luke 22). At this very moment, Peter was warming himself around a charcoal fire. (John 18:18)
Fast forward again to when Jesus rises from the dead and then starts appearing to different people. John 21 starts out with Peter saying that he’s going to go fishing, commentaries differ on what exactly this meant, but it very well could mean that Peter was going to leave “being a fisher of men” and go back to a career of fishing. This is where the story gets good, Jesus performs the exact same miracle He performed when He called Peter the first time.
Peter then realizes it’s Jesus, jumps in and swims to shore. When Peter gets to shore, Jesus already had breakfast cooking over a charcoal fire, the very same fire that Peter was standing over when he denied Jesus (charcoal fire is only mentioned in the Bible in these two instances). They ate breakfast and then Jesus asks Peter 3 times if he loves Him, the same number of times Peter denied Jesus.
I am enamored with this story! What a captivating picture of who Jesus is. Even though Peter denied Jesus with cuss words and planned on going back to fishing, Jesus went through all that effort to restore Peter to his original calling. Jesus went above and beyond for his friend, to show Peter that He forgave him, He loved him and that He wanted Peter to get back to following His mission.
I hope this story blesses you as it has blessed me. I want to leave you with that same question that has captivated me, “How well do YOU know Jesus?”