Never Forget- Going Back to Go Forward

I was reading in Luke 5 this morning, particularly the verse of Jesus meeting Peter, getting in his boat and asking him to let down his net again, despite not catching anything all night.

I thought about how Peter’s first encounter with Jesus mirrors his last encounter when he is reinstated in John 21. In both scenes, Peter is fishing on the Sea of Galilee. In both scenes he has had no luck catching any fish all night long. In both scenes, Peter obeys and in both scenes he catches a great number of fish.

However, in the first scene (Luke) there are so many fish that we are told that the “net begins to tear.” This is one of the differences between these two encounters. When Jesus reappears to Peter after his resurrection (John 21), he catches so many fish but this time we are told “so many fish yet the net doesn’t tear” I appreciate that small difference in detail.
One time the net tore a little and then another time it didn’t tear at all. The tear had no negative effect on the beautiful outcome- an abundance of fish.

I also thought about Peter’s choice to go fishing in John 21.

“I’m going fishing,” Simon Peter said to them. And the disciples he was with replied…”We’re coming with you.” (3a)

I wonder what was going through Peter’s mind when he was suddenly prompted to go fishing? This was certainly a time of confusion for all of them. They had seen the risen Lord but were still trying process the miracle, still trying to wrap their minds and hearts around witnessing the most unbelievable event they had ever been apart of. How many times did they have to pause over the last few days and to ask themselves. “Wait, is this real?” “Is this some sort of weird dream?” “Did these last few days really just happen?” It reminded me how that is some times true for many of us: Even though we might see something with our own eyes or personally experience a certain event…it often takes the heart some time to process and catch up.

I wonder if Peter’s desire to go fishing was to go back to a split moment in time when he was completely certain about something…to go back to a time in his life when he encountered Jesus for the very first time? And as the Book of Luke records…”Then they brought their boats to land, left everything, and followed Him.” (v11) That was a holy moment, a moment of complete clarity for Peter.

The choice to go fishing (during such a time of confusion after Jesus’ resurrection) was a trip his heart needed to take…to remember.

This…this it where it all began. This was real. Never forget. Let down your net again.

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