March 25, 2011
Read: John 21:3-17
As soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. —John 21:9
It’s my duty to grill the burgers, brats, steaks, or whatever else my wife has on the menu. And while I’m not the greatest chef when it comes to outdoor cooking, I love the unforgettable aroma of grilling over a charcoal fire. So the mention of a “fire of coals” in John 21:9 catches my attention. And I find myself wondering why John would include this detail in the story about Jesus calling a failing Peter back to serve and follow Him.
In verses 1-3, it’s apparent that Peter had reopened his fishing business. Just a few days before, Peter was warming his hands over a charcoal fire when he denied Jesus to save his own skin (John 18:17-18 ESV). So why not go back to fishing?
While Peter and his cohorts were casting nets, Jesus built a fire on the beach. Coincidence? I doubt it! And as Peter approached Jesus, I wonder if the pungent aroma of the burning charcoal brought back memories of that other fire where he had failed Christ. Yet Jesus in His mercy took the initiative to call Peter back into His service.
Think of it: Jesus is willing to forgive our failures and call us into His service. After all, if only perfect people qualified to serve Him, He wouldn’t have anyone to choose from!
Although we are imperfect,
The Lord can use us still,
If we confess our sins to Him
And seek to do His will. —Sper
Being imperfect doesn’t disqualify us from serving God;
it just emphasizes our dependence on His mercy.