Summary: Guilt murders peace...How Peter's relationship to Jesus is our answer for true peace
1After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. 9When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”. John 21:1-19 (NRSV)
Quite a number of years ago I sat at my parent’s dining room table staring at a math problem. I hated homework, and math was the reason why! Giving-up was on my mind, and very nearly won the day – except for the fact that quitting was not exactly an option in Dad’s house. In order to quit you had to lie about having completed the work, or slip out the back door when he’s not looking. Neither of those solutions worked very well, nor for very long…Dad worked at the school; he knew all my teachers!
Now I didn’t want to risk a whipping for slipping out the back door, or going to hell for being caught in a lie, so I appealed to the captain of the Brownworth ship. I whined, This math is impossible; the teacher doesn’t know reality. Besides, math is never used in real life; I’m not going to ever learn this dumb stuff – can I watch cartoons now? My father vetoed the TV and asked to see the math problem. (Years later he admitted he knew less about that kind of math than anyone else in the house). Gently my Dad asked me to explain what the teacher had told us in class about solving those problems. You know what happened – I could not explain to Dad unless I reviewed in my mind what the teacher had said; by relying on the method of solving the problem instead of simply staring in anguish at the problem, my homework got turned in on time. Dad didn’t give me the solution; he helped me remember how to get there.