When the sun came up, the tired fishermen thought, “We should have just stayed at home.”
As they had done many times, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, John and two others had spent the night on the Sea of Galilee. Unfortunately, this was not really where they wanted to be. Until recently, they had left fishing behind to follow a new teacher named “Jesus.”
They thought he was going to bring about a new earthly kingdom and they were looking forward to being part of it, but that did not happen. Instead, Jesus was arrested, tried, crucified and buried. Their hopes were also “crucified and buried” and now they were fishing again.
As they came to shore, a voice called out, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” When they replied “No” the man said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some,” so they did. Soon their net was so full that they could hardly haul it to the boat.
At that moment, John, peering through the pre-dawn darkness said, “It is the Lord!” What happens next is worth noting. Peter jumps in the water and starts swimming the 100 yards to shore to meet Jesus (John 21:7).
Why is that important? Well, if you remember, it was not that long before this that Peter denied even knowing Jesus. Even though Jesus predicted it and even though Peter swore that it would not happen (Matthew 26:31-35), it did happen. In an effort to protect himself, Peter, three times, said, “I don’t know the man!” (Matthew 26:69-75).
However, even with that as the background, Peter is not fearful. When he knows that the man on the shore is Jesus, he does whatever he can to get to him as quickly as possible. He does not hide in the boat. He does not try to avoid Jesus. Instead, Peter races to him.
If you have ever been scared of God, or if you have ever wondered how he feels about you, may I suggest that you remember this story about Peter? In fact, God’s own words make his feelings very clear: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
No matter where you have been, no matter what has happened, you never have to be scared to come to God. He is ready and waiting.
Get to him as quickly as you can!
“The Lord … is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).