Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master. Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.John 21:13-14 (The Message)
Yesterday we saw how we all need a sat nav for our journey in life. We also saw the invitation that Jesus gave come and follow. Here is another invitation from Jesus; come and dine.
The background of the story is that the disciples had been fishing all night and had not caught anything. Cold, wet and probably feeling pretty miserable from catching nothing they headed to the shore. Little did they know that Jesus already knew the situation and was planning a hearty breakfast with a welcoming fire after a very cold night out.
Jesus particularly came to the beach to see Simon Peter, Simon who as we know had denied ever knowing Jesus. This though was not a planned event of vengeance but one of restoration Little did Peter know that Jesus was and is in the business of restoration even when we make the mistakes that Peter made.
King David had written hundreds of years earlier about how his friends had betrayed him and how he felt. I hope you have never experienced that pain of broken friendship, but if you have you will know just how David and Jesus felt.
Jesus had ploughed his final three years of His life into Peter and just when He is being physically abused by his accusers, there is Peter adding as we would say insult to injury. Surely Jesus is at the beach for a showdown. Not so, but before we discuss that conversation can I encourage you to know that Jesus is interested in you too and invites you to come and dine no matter what you have said or done.
Jesus knew Peter’s physical need and therefore provided breakfast before a walk along the beach. Peter required refreshment after a long night out and therefore Jesus made breakfast. I am excited to know that Jesus is interested in my physical as well as my spiritual life. He knows when we are tired, He Himself experienced that and knows what it is like to be cold, wet and hungry. So before Jesus looked after Peter’s spiritual need He, first of all, dealt with Peter’s physical need.
Peter, having had a lovely breakfast, is about to have a conversation that would change his life forever. Jesus says let’s go for a walk along the beach (again Jesus is the one inviting Peter), Peter just has to accept. Jesus now comes to what I believe was the main reason for the beach visit and it is simply this, Peter the most important thing for you is to love me. It is why Jesus asked three times to emphasise that loving Jesus for who He is is the best thing Peter or you and I can do. So Jesus asks you the same question Do You Love Me?
The Bible makes it clear that at the beginning we did not love Him, for this is what the Bible tells us, not that we loved him but that He loved us and gave himself for us. Now Jesus is saying to Peter it’s your turn. How much do you really love me?
For Jesus relationship with Him is not to be casual, not even to be an acquaintance. Jesus desires to be a permanent resident in our lives. Therefore he needs to know do we really want to accept His invitation to come and follow and to come and dine.
Do you ever feel hopeless regarding your faith? Do you doubt God’s willingness to forgive you over and over again? Listen to the end of this encounter.
Second and third chances are not often available in families, communities, or workplaces. All you have to do is fail once too often, and that is it, finished washed up, you’re gone. Christ offers real love and unending forgiveness to those who own up to their failures and repent (Luke 7:47).
Peter owned up and the end result was Peter was used mightily in the Birth of the Church and ended his life not in denial of Jesus but as a martyr for Jesus.
Let me end up by encouraging you. It is not too late, you can be restored. Jesus wants to dine with you. How do I know? Well, the last book in the Bible, Revelation says
behold I stand at your heart’s door and knock and if you open up the door of your heart I will come in and have fellowship (dine) with youRevelation 3:20
Can you see in the very last book of the Bible Jesus is still inviting us to come and dine? Jesus has left the responsibility with us. I hope like Peter you will respond by saying to Jesus “you know I love you. I will come and follow you and look forward to dining with you too”.