The Library of Congress is recognized as the largest library in the world, with millions of volumes in its massive collection. But John’s Gospel claims that not even this renowned library would be large enough to contain the life and works of our Savior.
In our text, Jesus appeared to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. They were in the midst of an ordinary fishing expedition, but unfortunately they caught nothing (v. 3). Imagine their excitement when they realized the figure standing on the shore, shrouded by the early morning light, was Jesus. His instructions revealed His identity. When they cast their net on the right side of the boat, they hauled in 153 large fish (v. 11). This miracle confirmed the Lord’s care and provision, and “they knew it was the Lord” (v. 12). The breakfast between Jesus and the disciples was the third time He had appeared to them after His resurrection.
Jesus’ conversation with Peter is one of the most beautiful and powerful dialogues recorded in Scripture. Peter denied Jesus three times at the crucifixion; now Peter declared, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you” (v. 16). Three times Jesus asked Peter about his love, and three times Peter answered yes. The gracious Savior gave Peter the opportunity to reverse each denial with an affirmation of his love and commitment. Peter was then commissioned to serve Jesus by serving His people. The Good Shepherd entrusted the care of His beloved sheep to His disciple who had once abandoned Him.
Peter’s life is a wonderful testimony of fear being transformed into faith by the power of the Lord. The fisherman was commissioned to be a shepherd; this impetuous disciple would be a bold preacher of the gospel.
What an amazing subject is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We can never tire of hearing the stories of His life or in telling others about our love for Him. As John says, “We know that his testimony is true” (v. 24). May we devote our lives to telling others about our Lord and to serving Him until the end.