Saturday, April 29, 2017


"Peter threw himself into the sea."
Early this week, I was reading the post-Resurrection scene described in John 21, in which Peter and the apostles are out fishing, and Jesus calls to them from the shore. As soon as Peter hears that “it is the Lord,” he throws on some clothes and literally (according to the Greek) “throws himself” into the water to start eagerly toward Jesus.

Remember that Peter had denied Jesus three times, and, I imagine, must still have felt guilty about that.

I could easily picture Peter reacting differently when he realized that it was Jesus calling from the shore. He could have said to himself, “Uh-oh. It’s Jesus. He’s going to remember how I denied him three times. How can I face him? What will I say to him? Maybe if I shrink down in the back of the boat he won't notice me. I certainly don’t want to have to look him in the eye. I’m really stuck!”

But, despite the unfinished business between him and Jesus, he didn’t hesitate to run through the water toward Jesus as fast as he could, not even waiting for the boat to take him to shore. His love for the Lord far outweighed any feelings of guilt or unworthiness, or any questions about Jesus’ forgiveness. He just wanted to be near the Lord.

I was touched by Peter’s deep faith in God’s forgiveness, his trust that Jesus had already forgiven him, and the fact that his own sense of guilt was far outweighed by his love for Jesus.

Peter’s attitude is a powerful reminder that God loves us exactly as we are, right now, as hard as that may be for some of us to believe. But it’s true-- just ask Peter. He’ll invite you to throw yourself into the water and hurry alongside him to get to Jesus as fast as the two of you can go. Maybe on the way you’ll catch some of Peter’s spirit of confidence in Jesus’ infinite love and boundless forgiveness.  

Our Savior insisted that it was for sinners that he had come into the world, and it was to save us from our sins that he had suffered and died. Let us take him at his word, and, with Peter, hurry to be with him.  
"So they cast the net, and were not able to pull it in" (Jn 21:6)


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