After Jesus’ departure from this world, Peter and a handful of other disciples returned to their original trade of fishing. It seems as if they did not know what to do after their teacher had left them. Maybe they felt without purpose and direction and therefore decided to go back to their former lives. But the very first night that they went back to fish, they met with great disappointment, for they did not catch anything. Imagine how depressed they must have been; they had been close followers of an awesome teacher, but now they were without leader and maybe even hunted due to their affiliation to the Lord. They had once been very successful business men (for fishing was a profitable trade in those days), but now they could not even catch a single fish.
At this distressing moment, Jesus appeared to the disciples and gave them a tip that enabled a great catch. Immediately, the disciple whom Jesus loved remembered a similar catch at the time when Jesus first called the disciples to follow Him. Hence, he cried out, “It is the Lord!” When Peter heard it, he immediately swam to the shore to meet Jesus.
When all the disciples had come ashore, the Lord had already prepared breakfast for them and invited them to eat. By that time, all the disciples knew that the person on the shore was Jesus. Yet they did not dare to ask Him who He was. Maybe they were too ashamed, knowing that they had been called to follow Jesus and to become fishers of men, yet had returned to catch fish.
However, all this while, the Lord Jesus did not rebuke them. On the contrary, He showed concern for them, asking, “Children, have you any food?”, helped them to find fish, and made breakfast for them. His actions spoke louder than a thousand words, pricking the disciples conscience and reminding them of their initial calling to follow the Lord.
Today, are we following the Lord or have we returned to pursue the things of the world? Jesus’ great love for us is seen in the fact that He never forces us to follow Him. Instead, He wants us to do so on our own accord.
If we are following Jesus, are we truly following Him? Do we really know what it means to be His follower?
After the Lord had asked Peter three times whether he loved Him and had commissioned him to feed and tend the Lord’s flock, He indicated that Peter would have to suffer much for the sake of following Jesus, to the point of dying for the Lord’s sake. Are we ready to suffer for the Lord?
Maybe we don’t need to be martyred like Peter, but following and serving our Lord Jesus inevitably entails hardship and inconveniences at times. It requires that we put ourselves aside and sacrifice some of the things and matters that are important to us. This is not an easy path to tread, but it is a path full of blessings and joy, leading to eternal life.
Let us therefore equip ourselves with the right mindset, for Jesus is calling:
“Follow Me!” (John 21:19b)