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Do not be afraid, from now on you will catch men.  Luke 5:10

He said to him:  Feed my lambs.  John 21:15

Peter, a fisherman by trade.  We don’t know how successful a fisherman he was, but we do know that he thought of himself enough of a fisherman to question Jesus.  In the story in Luke when they first met, Jesus told them to let down their nets, to which Peter replied, that they had been fishing all night and caught nothing.   The implication being, if we’ve been at this a long time with the results that we have why should we listen to you?  But they do and have a miraculous catch of fish.

Redemption.  Jesus then calls Simon (whom he, at that point had not surnamed Peter “the Rock) to come to be a ‘fisher of men” (used in other gospels).  And Peter follows.  I think that it is interesting in the account of Luke, that Simon’s first response to the extremely large catch of fish is to know that he did not have anything to do with it.  Simon is confronted with the power of Jesus Christ, which Simon can see as a righteous power and his initial response is to ask Jesus to depart for he says, “I am a sinful man, Oh, Lord”.  Yet Jesus knows that Simon is a sinner and redeems him; calls him to join Jesus.

Of course, one might think that once redeemed, the journey becomes easy.  Well, maybe not.  Let’s see; Jesus names Simon, Peter (good thing).  Jesus calls Peter, Satan (not so good thing).  Peter asks Jesus and Jesus calls Peter to walk on water; which he does (good thing).  Peter almost drowns and Jesus asks him why his faith is so little. (Not so good thing).  Jesus tells Peter that Peter is going to be the rock, the foundation on which he is going to build the church (great thing).  Jesus tells Peter that Peter will deny knowing Jesus three times (terrible thing).  So we can see, that even once redeemed, Peter goes through trials in his faith walk with Jesus.

And as we might expect; Peter is mortified at his last failing of Jesus.  When he denies knowing Jesus, not once, not twice, but three times; we are told that he left and wept bitterly.  I wonder if his mind harkened back to their initial meeting and he found himself saying:  “See I told you, you should have left, that I was a sinful man!”

Jesus, could have left Peter there; in the bitterness of his failure.  Yet what does Jesus do with and for Peter?  He restores him.  In a sense, Jesus tells Peter, it is okay, I still have need of you and still want to work with you; as He tells Peter; “Feed my lambs.”  For they are Jesus’ lambs and they all knew how precious were Jesus’ lambs to him and Jesus was entrusting the care and feeding of the lambs to Peter.  And Peter did not disappoint.

So what are we to take from this?  First the enemy will try to keep us from Jesus Christ at all costs.  He will try to convince us that we are not good enough to come to Christ so don’t even try.  Jesus Christ tells us, do not be afraid, I know you, I love you and take you just as you are and I will redeem you.  The enemy will say, maybe you have confessed Jesus Christ the son of God but look, look at the sin you’re committing, you must leave the presence of Jesus Christ as you are no good.  What does Jesus Christ say?  I not only know of your sin but I did what you can not.  I took your sin upon myself so that I can restore you, if you will believe on me and repent.

Dear Heavenly Father, may those who do not know you, hear the call of redemption offered by Your Precious Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ.  May those of us who have declared Jesus Christ as ou personal savior, call upon Jesus Christ to restore our relationship when we have stumbled.  That in the both the redemption and restoration, brought through the death and resurrection of Your Only Son our Lord, Jesus Christ.  That Your Most Holy Name will always be praised Above All others.



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