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John 21:1-19, We Change When We Walk With Jesus

Key Verse

He 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.
— John 21:6

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, May 5, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

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Main Idea: When we walk and talk with Jesus, we are wholeheartedly changed.

A few years before, Jesus found some fishermen casting their nets into the sea. It was the beginning of a relationship with these men that would radically change their lives forever. His appearance to them then was their call story. It was how Jesus called them into ministry, to walk, talk and live with him, and to follow.

Three years later, after they had been through so much, Jesus found them once again casting their nets into the sea. These were not the same men. They had been profoundly changed, even as the world around them may have seemed uncomfortably the same. They still knew how to fish, but they would never be the same fishers they once were. It was to these altered men that Jesus came, asking them once again to walk, talk and live like him. There was still work to be done, and he would get to that. But for now, he would eat with them. The meal was the same but different. Jesus was the same but different. The disciples were the same but different. The world was the same but different.

“Do you love me?” Jesus asked three times. And three times Peter answered him – “Yes, you know I do!” Why would Jesus ask Peter three times a question he already knew the answer to? It wasn’t for Jesus to be reassured he was loved. Just days before, Peter had denied Jesus three times at a time when Jesus needed his friends the most. It must have grieved Peter to know he had betrayed his best friend at such a time, and now there was no opportunity for repentance or reconciliation. But then there was. And Jesus gave it to him – three opportunities to make up for the three times he denied him. Three times for Jesus to claim his repentance and give Peter a mission of his own.

Reconciliation in words alone is not enough. True reconciliation comes with actions that show a real intention to change. Jesus knew just the thing – Peter’s

mission of reconciliation would be, not to show his allegiance for Jesus, but to show his love for Jesus’ children. Peter would be charged with the mission to feed hungry people with the nourishing word of God. It would be difficult and dangerous, but Jesus had prepared him well, and it was now his time to “follow” Jesus by leading the others into this mission.

When we are called to repentance, reconciliation is not always possible with the person we repent to. They may be resistant to our pleas for forgiveness. They might be dead. There are many reasons we might repent without direct reconciliation. But we can still be reconciled with others of God’s children in our efforts to repent for past mistakes. We can move forward into the world, serving God’s children in whatever capacity we might be called. We can become new people, changed by our behaviors and new attitudes. We can answer Jesus’ question, “Do you love me?” with a resounding, “Yes! You know that I do!” So then, “Feed my sheep.”

Sweet Jesus,

As you revealed yourself to your disciples, you also gave an invitation to feed your sheep. Give us wisdom and insight that our words may be powerful, and our witness inspired. For the sake of Jesus, we pray. Amen.


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