When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea. (John 21:7, The Message)
The failings of Peter are well-known and some of the most preached and commented-on passages in the Bible. Let’s think of a couple: 1) He steps out of the boat and walks on water… momentarily… until he sees his predicament, and “takes his eyes off Jesus”; 2) He cuts off the Roman guard’s ear (and Jesus repairs the damage); and 3) the most blatant failing — “I’ll never deny you, Lord! Never!” Of course, he denies Jesus three times, and the last time, Jesus shoots him a look and he weeps bitterly.
Jesus now dead and gone… almost. The tomb is empty. He has appeared on numerous occassions to many people, including some of his disciples. But Peter is wallowing in his failings, and after Jesus is crucified, Peter goes back to his former occupation: fisherman. His dreams are shattered.
Peter tells those around him, as John 21 starts, “I’m going fishing.” Him and his buddies are out there throwing nets, with no success. Some backseat fisherman on the beach yells to them, “Throw your nets over here.” They catch more fish than they can handle, and John recognizes the backseat fisherman as Jesus. Now the moment of truth…
Peter recognizes Jesus, too, and what does he do?
He sits there, tail between his legs. No.
He debates with himself, “Jesus doesn’t want to see me anymore… after I let Him down so bad.” No.
He keeps fishing, pulling in the nets. No. (He leaves that for the others to mess with)
Look at the verses. After you’ve failed Jesus, is that what you’d do? Is this how you’d react?
When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea.
Unashamed. Unrestrained. Throw off the past failures. Jump. Dive. Back to Jesus.