“Then Jesus told him, ‘Follow me’.” John 21:19b
“Follow Me!” The first time Peter ever heard those words uttered from the mouth of Jesus was the day He first met Him. As a fisherman by trade, Peter, I’m sure, had plans for his fishing business. He was obviously good at it as fishing had become a way of life for Peter. It’s most likely all Peter knew how to do and was well within his comfort zone.
All of that changed, however, the day he met Jesus. Having never met him before, Jesus approached Peter and asked to borrow His boat so He could push away from the shore and speak to the crowd. Afterward, He asked Peter to go out in the water a distance and cast out his nets, to which Peter slightly protested saying, “We’ve fished all night and caught nothing, but nevertheless we will do it.” Peter, thinking he knew a little something about fishing, was in utter shock when his nets were so full of fish, they began to tear. So full in fact, that he had to yell for some help from another boat just to haul in the load. That encounter ended with Jesus calling Peter to a whole new way of life by saying, “Come follow me.” In this, Peter accepted becoming a disciple of Jesus.
Now, three and a half years later, Jesus brings Peter back to a familiar place with a net full of fish, but in a whole new way. All because of the finished work of Jesus through the cross and the resurrection, Peter would get to personally experience the forgiveness and grace of God that would bring restoration to his life. After denying he even knew Jesus, Peter must have felt the only thing he could do was return back to the life of fishing he had once known. But that’s not at all what Jesus had in mind for Peter. Jesus’s plan for Peter was for him to be a “fisher of men,” and that didn’t change just because Peter blew it. God’s plan for Peter remained the same, and after Jesus had Peter retract his denial, Peter got re-called when Jesus said those two familiar words, “Follow me.”
Have you ever felt that your wrongdoing has undone the plans that Jesus has for you? Then, just like Peter, you can take comfort in knowing that’s not the way the grace, love, and forgiveness of Jesus works. Today, let Jesus re-call you by accepting His invitation to leave the past behind and follow Him.