When Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:29-30).
Peter had a little faith in the midst of his doubts, says Bunyan; and so with crying and coming he was brought to Christ.
But here you see that sight was a hindrance; the waves were none of his business when once he had set out; all Peter had any concern with, was the pathway of light that came gleaming across the darkness from where Christ stood. If it was tenfold Egypt beyond that, Peter had no call to look and see.
When the Lord shall call to you over the waters, “Come,” step gladly forth. Look not for a moment away from Him.
Not by measuring the waves can you prevail; not by gauging the wind will you grow strong; to scan the danger may be to fall before it; to pause at the difficulties, is to have them break above your head. Lift up your eyes unto the hills, and go forward– there is no other way.
“Dost thou fear to launch away?
Faith lets go to swim!
Never will He let thee go;
’tis by trusting thou shalt know
Fellowship with Him.”
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” – John 19:26-27
The third of the seven utterances of our Saviour from the Cross. Isn’t it amazing that when being nailed to the Cross, Jesus fulfilled His responsibility as a Son to His mother. Then, dear friend, imagine how much He will take care of you today as He is seated at the Right Hand of our Father, as a High Priest interceding for us.
But isn’t it amazing that the apostle John came back, to be at the Calvary, after deserting our Lord at the Garden of Gethsemane? It is the love for Jesus Christ that had compelled him to come back. If I had been in John’s place, I would have expected the Lord to give one of two things.
- Make me the chief of the Apostles, instead of Peter, who deserted You and thrice said that he does not know You. But here I am. Yes, I also left You, Lord, but see I have come back because Your love has compelled me. So, I deserve to be the chief of Your disciples.
- Or, Lord, give me a double-portion anointing, like Elisha received when he saw Elijah being taken away. Here I am, as You are in the last moments. And give me the anointing, double-portion.
And Jesus did give him a responsibility. It was not a promotion or an anointing, but taking care of an old woman, who had just witnessed her Son being crucified before her eyes and hence suffered so much.
Isn’t it odd that when Peter proclaims his love for our Saviour later, again he was given another responsibility – Feed my sheep. (John 21:17)
Dear friend, do you love Jesus Christ? Then here is the Voice of Love from Calvary. Asking you to take responsibility. Not a double-portion anointing, not a promotion in the church leadership. But to do ordinary menial tasks, taking care of the sheep, taking care of people who need your help, people who may not deserve your time… responsibilities that may not make your name prominent, but if you love Jesus, the Lord Who was crucified for you, He is asking you this day… Will you feed My sheep? Will you tend My sheep? Will you take care of those who are weak?
What will be your answer? It says about John – from that hour, he took Mary to his own home. From that hour. What will be your answer in the next hour?
I have to admit that running to Jesus Christ, as soon as the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, is tougher at times, because of the nature of the sin I had committed. There are certain sins that are abhorred even by the gentiles and when the Spirit of God points out that such sins are present within me, it is very difficult to run to Jesus Christ, the Holy God Who loves me so much. I am worried what if He does not accept me this time; what if He does not forgive me completely this time. What if I am an abomination in His eyes. So, I had tried in the past to rectify my mistakes on my own and every time, it led only to disaster.
When Peter denied Jesus Christ, all it took was one look from our Saviour and the Bible says, Peter went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62)
I have felt that bitterness many times in my heart. At that time, it was not easy to bear that bitterness and it had made me weep inconsolably. But that bitterness has always led to joy of salvation that is in Jesus Christ. For His mercies are great.
That is why David says, “Let us fall now into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great.” (2 Samuel 24:14)
Yes, when we have sinned, let us come back to Jesus Christ. It may cause bitterness of soul for a moment, just like the bitter waters of Marah (Exodus 15:23), but in the bitterness, we will realize that He is YHWH Rapha, the LORD that heals us. (Exodus 15:26)
In Biblical times, when someone had realized that they had committed a sin, they would show their repentance by sitting on a heap of ashes. Yes, ashes represent repentance for sin.
Dear friend, are these your ashes today? Are you repenting for certain sins that you have committed and not sure whether our Lord Jesus Christ will accept you again?
Peter. One of the closest disciples of our LORD. Followed our Lord readily. Even walked on water based on the little faith he had. Partaker in every single miracle that Jesus did. One of the witnesses to our LORD’s glorious transfiguration.
Yet, Jesus told him, “Before the cock crows twice, you shall deny Me three times.” – Mark 14:30. Though Peter vehemently opposed any such denial would happen, we see that by the early morning next day, not only Peter denied our LORD, Mark says that Peter swore and cursed our LORD. (Mark 14:71) And that too because he was afraid of a maid servant.
There are so many sins that we can commit today. The modern world has opened us many new ways in which we can commit a sin. But of all the sins that we can commit, the one that hurts our LORD the most is when we deny that we don’t know Him.
Probably we may say that we would never ever deny knowing our LORD. But, let us not haste in declaring that. Am I sure I am not denying our LORD by my inactions? I may not expressly say that I do not know Him… but whenever I remain silent when I have to declare my Savior, I am actually denying Him in my life.
When it is Christmas season, it is okay to talk about Santa, but I don’t want to offend others, so let us not talk about Christ – I am denying Him. When I cut out references to Jesus Christ on a song, Silent Night, that talks beautifully about His birth, I am denying Him. When people are ready to cut out Christian references from everything a CHRISTIAN says so that it does not offend others, and I remain a silent spectator, I deny Him. Now, how many of us can tell that we have not denied Him at all?
But, it does not matter… dear friend, come to Jesus. Come to Jesus with your ashes. When we have committed a sin, when we realize what we have done, our nature is to run away from the LORD. But the Bible says something about Peter. When he denied our LORD, it says,
“The LORD turned and looked on Peter… and Peter went out and wept bitterly.” – Luke 22:61-62.
Peter wept bitterly, realizing what he had done. First and foremost, true repentance should bring bitter tears from within us. But after all that, Peter went and stayed with other disciples. I don’t know if he had told others what he had done, probably he did not say a word… but he stayed with the disciples.
Dear friend, when you realize that you had committed a sin, the devil will ask you to stay away from the LORD and His disciples. Satan will ask you to stay away from the church, from other believers… The devil will say, “But they won’t understand you, they will judge you, they will condemn you. Jesus will not accept you again. Run away. No one will have to know this.” Don’t listen to the devil’s words, dear friend. Come to Jesus, with your ashes, with the tears of your repentance. Jesus will never cast out anyone who comes to Him.
And when you come to Him, with your sins, your tears and your ashes, the LORD is willing to change those ashes into a crown of beauty for you. The LORD will make a point so that you know you are forgiven, that you are loved and that His plans for you have not been forsaken. Yes, dear friend, that is why when the angel commanded Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James and Salome, to tell the disciples about the resurrection of our LORD, two words were added additionally:
“Go tell His disciples and Peter…” – Mark 16:7
Come to Jesus today. Your ashes will become crown of beauty. Your repentance and mourning shall become dances of joy. For the LORD has a special message just for you, my dear friend. Let us come to Jesus with our ashes, let us receive beauty instead. Amen.
|Luke 2:6-7“While they were there, the time came for the Baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”
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The blessing of the LORD brings wealth and He adds no trouble to it. – Proverbs 10:22 (NIV)
This is one of the promises that the LORD has given to us. When the LORD blesses us, it makes us prosperous and wealthy. And the LORD does not bring any trouble, or sorrow or grief along with that wealth. But, there are so many times, we have waited for the LORD’s blessings, and wealth comes with His blessings… and yet, there are times His blessings has brought us grief, loss or trouble. Why? Does the LORD change? No, He does not. Then what happened? Let us look at someone who was blessed by the LORD, who became prosperous but at the very moment, had to face trouble because of the blessings.
And having done this, they caught a great number of fish, but their net began breaking. – Luke 5:6 (ALT)
Now, what happened here? All night, Peter and his band of fishermen were toiling hard and could not catch even one single fish. In the morning, they were tired and disheartened and as they come to the shore, hoping to get some rest, but there was Jesus Christ, who needed the boat of Simon Peter to preach. Imagine how would you feel… after a long exhausting disappointing night, all you want is some rest, but there the LORD is speaking and you have no choice but to listen… that could be really testing. I am sure we all have had experiences in that.
Think about how Peter would be feeling when after all these, Jesus says to cast nets to catch fish. It was daytime and not the right time to catch fish. For all the preaching, Jesus Christ was just a carpenter, not a seasoned fisherman like Peter, who knew that you could catch fish easily only in the nights.
How many times have we felt the same? There are certain areas in our life where we know better than anyone. We have enough experience in those areas. And when someone suggests that we do otherwise, we have a problem. Especially someone who has no experience in that particular area.
While Peter had every reason to be offended by the suggestion of our LORD, he did obey and almost all the time, it is considered to be something of a virtue that he listened to the Word of the LORD against all odds. But, if you ask me, IMHO, I consider it to be rather condescending towards the LORD. Why? Let us read those verses again carefully. Let us see what the LORD told Peter.
HE (Jesus) said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch”. – Luke 5:4 (ALT)
Note that the LORD was telling Peter to let down the NETS for a catch. Note that the LORD was using a plural here… the LORD knows that there is a lot to catch. So He commands to let down the NETS. But what does Peter do?
Simon said to Him, “Master, having labored through the whole night we caught nothing, but at Your Word, I will let down the net.” – Luke 5:5 (ALT)
Note that Peter says that he will let down the NET – singular. Most of the English translations have ‘nets’ – but that is not right. The original manuscripts and most of the literal translations have ‘net’.
The LORD is saying, “Let down your nets for a catch” and Peter is telling, in effect, “Master, we are experienced fishermen. We toiled all night, the best time to catch fish, but still we could not manage to catch anything. Though You may be a great Preacher, I don’t think You have as much experience. So, letting down all the nets will be a waste of time and effort. If I let down all the nets, You will be embarrassed in front of everyone when the nets come back empty. So, I will just let one net down to save Your face.”
We all do that all the time to our LORD. When the LORD is ready to bless us abundantly, we restrict Him because we think we know our circumstances better than the LORD. We don’t want to do the things that the LORD has asked, not because we don’t believe in the LORD, it is just that we don’t want to embarrass the LORD before the eyes of others.
Now, when Peter let down the net, he was in for a surprise. The blessings of the LORD brought him riches, but because of his attitude, it also brought him grief. Not only the net was getting damaged, when others came to help, even those boats started to sink.
Today, when we look at our situations, it may sound hopeless. When the LORD speaks to us, it will be difficult to put all our trust in Him. But, at least, let us not be condescending in our attitude towards Him. Because, soon, very soon, the blessings of the LORD is going to make us rich and He will not add any sorrow unto it. Just make sure that you don’t add any trouble by your attitude.
|Ecclesiastes 11:5“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”
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