Leaving the abundance behind

February 22, 2022

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is the last chapter of the Gospel of John. At first glance, it seems to be an add-on to the whole story. It almost seems like John needn’t have written it. He could’ve just finished with chapter 20 – with the resurrection of Jesus and by explaining the purpose behind writing his Gospel.

But he goes on to chapter 21, and let me tell you – the last chapter is such a treasure.

The miraculous catch of fish, the breakfast on the beach, and Jesus’ confrontation with Peter – there’s just so much beauty in those pages.

One such beautiful moment is when Peter and the apostles are in the boat, with a miraculous haul of 153 fish in their nets. They realize that Jesus is on the beach, with John exclaiming, “It is the Lord!”

That’s when Peter does something incredible.

He jumps into the water and starts swimming towards Jesus as fast as he can. Peter always did that. He acted first and thought second.

The other apostles were a lot calmer. They struggled to drag both boat and fish, and slowly made their way towards the beach.

Some have said Peter still hadn’t learned his lesson – that he was still a reckless man, always trying to prove his love.

To me, this moment paints a different picture of Peter.

The chapter began with Peter wanting to go back fishing.

He had betrayed his Lord, Jesus, just a few days earlier and probably thought that he was done – that Jesus wouldn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. So he went back to doing the only thing he knew – the work he was doing before he met Jesus – fishing.

He probably thought its best to forget about Jesus’ call on his life because he had failed.

He probably tried to forget about his betrayal – about Jesus – and turned to fish.

Funny thing is, the moment he saw Jesus, he forgot about the fish – even the miraculous fish – and swam towards Jesus.

He forgot about the great catch when he saw Jesus. Why? Because Peter loved Jesus more than fish.

Why am I saying all this?

Because the truth is that you can be too busy fishing to love the Lord.

You can be too busy working to love the Lord.

You can be too busy evangelizing to love the Lord.

You can be too busy doing ministry to love the Lord.

AW Tozer put it this way – “We have become so engrossed in the work of the Lord that we have forgotten the Lord of the work.”

You can be too caught up with blessings – with your great catch of 153 fish – to run towards Jesus and to love Him.

Peter’s actions tell us what love does.

It runs. It swims as fast as it can towards Jesus. It forgets about the fish – the blessings, the work, the money, the favor, the catch – and fixes its eyes on Jesus.

Do we love Jesus like that? That we’d be willing to jump to Him? To get our clothes wet, forgetting about whatever it is that’s on our mind – good or bad, blessings or fears, and run to Him?

Because the thing is, whatever you are leaving behind is nothing compared to what is waiting for you on the beach.

Jesus is better. He is already waiting on the beach, cooking breakfast.

He already has the fish you need.

And He has something so much better – Himself.

Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ - Matthew 22:37

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