“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers – Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew – throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow Me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”… “….Then Jesus told Him, “Follow Me.”… “As for you, follow me.””
Matthew 4:18-19, John 21:19b, 22b
Peter, the all action disciple of Jesus, the lowly fisherman called to be a rock for the church, after Jesus’ resurrection, went on to become one of the main founders of Jesus’ church throughout the Roman Empire. We experience the fruit of his boldness to share about the resurrected King. Yet Peter’s life has a great lesson we all can learn from. A lesson of ultimate forgiveness and restitution.
Peter, along with his brother Andrew, was one of the first disciples that Jesus called to ‘follow Him’. As Jesus met them by the Sea of Galilee, He called out to them and they immediately put down their nets and followed Jesus. Yet, fast forward a few years, and Jesus’ prophetic words, that Peter would deny Him before His crucifixion, happened just the way Jesus said. Peter fled in utter shame, guilt and disbelief at his own actions. He just denied knowing Jesus, the man who had taught him so much and who had loved Peter so deeply.
Yet when Jesus re-appears to Peter, incredibly and significantly, again at the Sea of Galilee, He calls out to him, repeating His commission, to come and ‘follow Me’. Although these are simple words, they show us that Jesus completely forgave Peter and restored him. Moreover Jesus didn’t even make mention of Peter’s betrayal but rather reached out to him again, in the same place He was originally called, commissioning Peter to be His Rock once more.
Jesus calls out to us today, to ‘follow Him’, despite your past! He can restore you and give you a new and fresh commission today. Take up your cross, don’t worry about others, YOU follow HIM!