Have you ever made a promise to someone and didn’t keep it? Remember how you felt the next time you saw that person?
Peter and his friends had been fishing all night and caught nothing (John 21:3). The next day, Jesus was standing on the beach. The disciples didn’t know who he was but they heard a voice saying, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch,” (John 21:6). When the net came up with so many large fish and it only came to the surface with much effort, John said, “It is the Lord.”
Soon, Peter was standing face-to-face with the man he had promised never to deny. Can you imagine how he felt? Peter jumped into the lake, but somehow the disciples got to shore first with Peter pulling the net ashore.
The Lord didn’t rebuke Peter for denying him. He just told his disciples to come and have breakfast.
Afterward, Jesus had a conversation with Simon. The Lord didn’t address him as Peter. Jesus asked three times: “Do you love me more than these?” The question must have crushed Peter. No longer is there the bravado of the man who said, “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you,” (Matthew 26:35 NET). All Peter could manage was “Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.”
Grief welled up in Peter (John 21:17). Imagine how he relived that night outside of the high priest’s house. But Peter needed to face the truth. He had once committed himself to Jesus. Could he remain faithful to that promise? Jesus’ questions hit the mark. Peter was a changed man. He would stand on Pentecost without fear and preach the gospel.
What about you? Have you promised the Lord something and failed to live up to it? The Lord wants you to try again. You may have to answer some difficult questions about your commitment to the Lord, but they are worth answering. Why not come back to him today?