Running to Jesus
The events of John 21 take place after the resurrection of Jesus. The disciples are back in the boat doing what they do best; fishing. In the meantime, Jesus comes to the shore and calls out to them to see if they had caught anything. Nothing! Not one fish had been caught. Jesus then instructs them to cast their nets to the other side of the boat. They did. The story tells us that their nets were so full that they were unable to haul the net into the boat.
That is the big story of the passage. But in this story we also find two “incidentals” that can help us run towards Jesus during those spiritually dry times of life.
First of all, after catching the fish, John turned to Peter and said, “It is the Lord.” It was John who recognized that the one on the shore telling them to cast their net on the other side of the boat was Jesus. But then I love what Peter did. The text says, “As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water.” The rest of the disciples followed in the boat.
I want to be like Peter. When we go through spiritually dry times, spending time in God’s word can become arduous or just another task to do during the day. But here is the reality. Jesus, the risen Savior, wants to meet with us. It is my prayer that my heart would be like Peter’s heart and that I would find myself running to meet with Jesus. This week as I have opened my Bible, I have tried to imagine being Peter and seeing Jesus standing at “the shore of my life.” And so I have found myself running to him, eager to hear from him and to fellowship with him. Run to him!
The second thing I saw in this passage was the title given to John, the author of this gospel. John never refers to himself by name in the gospel of John. The title he gives himself is “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” It says in verse 7, “The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’”
What is John saying by referring to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”? Is he saying that he was loved more than any of the others? No doubt, John was part of the inner circle of three. So did John see himself as number one even among the “top” three? Did Jesus really have favorites? Did he love some disciples more than others? You sure don’t get any hint in the gospels that Jesus played favorites when it came to his love.
So what is John saying? I think John was so overwhelmed that the Savior and Lord Jesus personally loved him. I think he referred to himself this way because he knew he didn’t deserve it, and yet by God’s grace Jesus loved him.
Practice that. Go to God in prayer and say, “Dear Father, here I am, the one you love.” Isn’t that amazing? Doesn’t that put everything else into perspective? You can lose everything this life has to offer, but you can never lose God’s love for you.
These two points actually go hand in hand. Because I am one whom Jesus loves, I run to him. What about you?
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