Breakfast on the Beach: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday

Monday May 2, 2011

He said, "I don't know Him." He denied Him, over and over again. Yet in the distance a fire burns, and a meal prepared by the Lord Christ Himself awaits. Can you imagine?

The story is told by John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” John sees the man on the beach and hears his instruction, just like the other disciples. But as John surveys the fish in that net, he remembers an earlier miraculous catch (Luke 5:1-11). “It is the Lord!” he exclaims to Peter.

When Peter heard it was Christ, why didn't he run, cower, or hide? Because he knew Christ’s heart. After all, Jesus had predicted Peter’s betrayal, and it had come to pass. The Lord knew of what He spoke. Although Peter had betrayed Him, the disciple knew this was a heart of love, of grace, of forgiveness. He knew it was a heart that knew all things – and still provided a miraculous catch and breakfast on the beach.

So he jumped from that boat and swam into the arms of grace.

Christ addresses Peter as Simon, reverting to his earlier name. Perhaps this was a challenge to his devotion – Is he still the rock-solid Peter? Then the Lord asks three questions, allowing Peter to restore himself from his three denials. They sit round a fire, reminiscent of the one Peter warmed himself by when he betrayed his Lord. How these things must have seared Peter’s heart!

The Lord’s three questions are fodder for even more reflection, but Peter’s response, finally, is telling. “You know I love you” shows Peter’s acknowledgement of Christ’s omniscience, His power over all. Peter’s surrender and Christ’s grace-filled commission on that early morning beach leaves a few reminders for us:

  • Sometimes others recognize Him before we do, so we must listen to others who love Him as Peter listened to John.

  • He makes provisions for us even before we recognize Him. Before we can even imagine, the coals are warm, the bread baked and the fish is on the fire. All we have to do is come.

  • He continues to challenge us. He lets us feel pain and grieve, but it’s a wholesome, healing grief. The Lord didn’t soft-pedal Peter’s past – those three questions and the fire must have served as reminders. But in the end, this was a time of growth and restoration for Peter.
    • Our encounters with Him are marked by His grace and His love. What did Peter take away?

      That he was loved, forgiven. That enabled him to live the proof of the assertions he had made that day, for the rest of his life.

      His invitation is not only for Peter; it’s open to all.
      So swim into the arms of grace today.

      Linking up today with Michelle at Graceful for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.


      GLENDA CHILDERS said...

      Loved your beautiful invitation . . . "so swim into the arms of grace today."


      Jean Wise said...

      good post and great final line! one that I will ponder in my heart today

      Michelle DeRusha said...

      Love and forgiveness...isn't that the Gospel truth in a nutshell? Nicely done, Laura.

      And thanks for linking up...

      Amy Sullivan said...

      I like your second point about making provisions before we recognize Him. Everything is finished. We just have to be willing to come.

      Thanks, Laura.

      ps We should totally use the word "fodder" more.

      Jennifer @ said...

      I'm really taken by that image of "swimming into arms of grace." Thank you for that.

      Esther said...

      Great fodder for thought :) (That was for you, Amy)
      I love that he provides for us :)

      Faith said...

      ah...."swim into His Arms..." i LOVE IT! thank you for this...enjoy your week

      Susan DiMickele said...

      I'm jumping in!

      Anonymous said...

      I just love that Jesus sought the dissappointed diciples out - even when we let God down he seeks us out instead of waiting for us.

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