John 21:7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore.
This is one of my favorite chapters in the bible, as it shows Jesus coming down to Peter’s level, meeting him where he currently was, willing to accept from Peter what he was able to give to Jesus at that time. But despite Jesus’ acceptance of where Peter was, He didn’t let Peter stay where he was.
Peter was always very unstable, jumping into situations, jumping into conversations, saying and doing things on the spur of the moment without thinking, like cutting off a servant’s ear and claiming he would die before he denied the Lord. Peter had forsaken everyone and everything after the Garden of Gesthemane, culminating into going back to his old line of work – fishing. His actions caused the the other disciples to follow him back to fishing as well.
When John told Peter that Jesus was on the shore, Peter once again “jumped” without thinking, and swam back to Jesus, leaving the other disciples to struggle under the weight of the net of fish. But before Jesus asked Peter three times whether or not Peter loved Jesus, Jesus stopped Peter and made him go back to the boat and the friends which he had abandoned and help them bring in the fish they had caught at Jesus’ suggestion. Peter’s days of jumping and leaving behind people and fish and sometimes destruction in his wake were no longer acceptable. Peter had to make things right, finish what he had started, before he could move forward and rise up as Jesus’ disciple who could “Feed My sheep.”
Devotion to Jesus that makes us leave everything to follow Him is admirable, but there is responsibility that comes with our calling as disciples. Jesus expects us to be faithful stewards of whatever we are given, so we need to prove ourselves faithful over the small things before He will make us stewards over much. We need to look before we leap, even if we are leaping on behalf of Jesus. We leave behind us a reputation that reflects on Jesus and other Christians, so watch what you jump into and out of. Finish what you start so you can feed His lambs.
Questions for the day:
1. Are you a jumper? Do you jump from thing to thing, not finishing anything? Give an example.
2. Do you jump into things without thinking about the effect it will have on your witness for Christ? Give an example.