Breakfast By The Sea

“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.”

John 21:10-13

As I sat enjoying breakfast with my wife this past weekend over in Cayucos celebrating my birthday a story about the beach from my bible came to mind. We found ourselves there because I was officiating a wedding ceremony and the rehearsal fell on my birthday so we decided to make a weekend out of it and camp at our favorite costal town. The story that came to mind was from John 21:1-19 where after Jesus resurrection He shows up one morning at the beach and fixes breakfast for a few of His disciples while they are not far off shore fishing.

You have to understand the significance this moment. Jesus has risen from the dead just as He told them He would and He has already shown Himself to them twice before and still they are confused and acting like sheep without a shepherd. Peter had denied Jesus not once, not twice, but three times on the night Jesus was put on trial and sentenced to die. When Peter realized what he had done it broke his heart and he wept bitterly the scriptures tell us. He was still living with the sting of his sin. Three days later when Peter got word that Jesus had risen he and John raced to the tomb and found it empty and when Jesus showed himself to Peter later on something still must not have clicked entirely for Peter. Its here at the breakfast by the sea when Jesus calls out to Peter and the others who have gone back to what they were doing before Jesus called them to “Follow Me” that things will finally come together.

From shore Jesus yells out and asks if they have caught anything after a night of fishing. They respond they have caught nothing so Jesus instructs them to throw the net eight feet over and suddenly a catch that is so big it’s stretching the net to its breaking point. Its in this moment John recognizes Jesus voice and tells Peter and Peter literally jumps overboard to get to Jesus as fast as he can. When Peter arrives Jesus invites him and the other disciples to have breakfast by the sea. After breakfast Jesus asks Peter a question and He repeats it three times. Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love Me?” And when Peter responds that he does Jesus says first to feed His sheep, then to tend His lambs and finally Jesus repeats, “feed My sheep”.

Now what makes this such a beautiful story is it’s a story of God’s forgiveness and redemption. For every time Peter denied the Lord, Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to publicly affirm his love for Jesus and experience God’s forgiveness and restoration. Jesus didn’t just forgive Peter, Jesus promoted Peter from failure to being a shepherd of Jesus sheep. What Peter was experiencing in this moment was complete restoration. What Peter was feeling in that moment is what it is like to be overwhelmed by love.

This story in John 21, breakfast by the sea is for anyone of us who has blown it really bad in life, so bad you are ashamed of yourself and you don’t even feel worthy to be a follower of Jesus any more. Maybe like Peter you have even gone back to what you were doing before you first came to know the Lord. God knows right where you are at and today I encourage you to read John 21 carefully and understand it’s a story about forgiveness and how the forgiveness Jesus offers you leads to life, life that is made possible by His love. Forgiveness reconciles and unites and is a gift to both the one who forgives and the one who is in need of it. The one who forgives is free from resentment and the one who needs it is free from guilt. Peter had witnessed the love of Jesus that our Lord so graciously offered to repentant sinners He encountered and Peter knew that Jesus freely forgave others and it was that knowing that prompted Peter to jump into the water and swim to shore as fast as he could.

All that to say, if you are in need of forgiveness today just know Jesus heart is always ready to forgive as Jesus is a better Savior than you and I are sinners! Where sin abounds grace does all the more! He’s just waiting for you to make your way to Him as fast as you can. Don’t delay another minute or wait another day!  

“Look! I (Jesus) stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”

Revelation 3:20


Michael Osthimer




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