A week or two after the foot washing, following the cross and the empty tomb, Jesus appears on the shore just across from where the boys are fishing. He acts like a guy out for a stroll, asks if they had any luck, suggests they try one more spot, and reproduces the catch that caught them all in the beginning. Watch how Peter responds this time:
The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. (John 21:7)
Peter is a hundred yards offshore. That’s about three city blocks—a long way to swim, especially in a full-length robe. It would be like trying to swim wrapped in a bed sheet. Peter doesn’t care. He doesn’t wait for the boat, forgets about the fish, and as quick as you can say, “Jack be nimble” he hits the water, swimming, thrashing, gasping for air, then stumbling ashore fast as he can to get to Jesus. Do you think he then drew another line in the sand? “Hello, sir. Mr. Christ, may I approach?” Peter is a passionate, emotional, impulsive guy. He just swam a hundred yards in his bathrobe. I’ll bet dollars to donuts he ran right up to Jesus, sopping wet as laundry from the washer, and hugged him, soaking the risen Lord.
If Peter didn’t do it, you know Jesus did, adding his tears of joy to the wet embrace.
Beautiful. That’s the way to do it, friends. Just begin to make a practice of loving Jesus. Relate to him as you see his friends did in the Gospels.
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