Peter-Why the Dramatic Change? (John 21)

It’s fascinating to see Peter’s radically different responses to Jesus.

Response #1:

After fishing all night and catching nothing, Jesus tells Peter to go out and let their nets down again. Peter is tired and hesitant, but lowers his nets, and BAM! they caught so many fish that the nets couldn’t hold them all – an obvious miracle. Peter realized that Jesus was holy, and he knows he is not….and says “…depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).

Response #2:

Again, after fishing all night and catching nothing (makes you wonder about their choice of a profession doesn’t it?) Jesus show up and asks them to cast out the fishing nets again. They do, and again, they catch a bunch of fish – an obvious miracle. Watch Peter’s response this time:

John said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea (John 21:7).

“…he threw himself into the sea” – wow. That’s typical Peter. All in!

What might account for the radically different response? Two things:

One, Jesus had risen from the dead and given them the Holy Spirit.

Two, Peter had experienced the unconditional forgiveness and love of Jesus.

Here’s the point: It’s one thing to be forgiven, it’s another to understand you are forgiven. Peter got it, and that changed his response from shame based running FROM Jesus to acceptance based running (or in this case, swimming) TO Jesus.

Here’s the central question you and I have to ask: Do we understand we are forgiven?

Are we running away from Jesus, like Peter did before he encountered the power of unconditional love and forgiveness? Or, are we running to Jesus, eagerly desiring to be in his presence because of His goodness?

Enjoy Walking with the Savior Today,

Pastor John

Grace Life Bible Church

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