Daily Reading & Meditation
Sunday (April 10): "Do
you love the Risen Lord more than all else?"
Scripture: John 21:1-19
1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the
Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter,
Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of
Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon
Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will
go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night
they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the
beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus
said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him,
"No." 6 He said to them, "Cast the net on 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, for the quantity of fish.
7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes,
for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. 8 But
the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish,
for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with
fish lying on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of
the fish that you have just caught." 11 So Simon Peter went aboard
and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and
fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net
was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now
none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was
the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and
so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was
revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to
him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my
lambs." 16 A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you
love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He
said to him, "Tend my sheep." 17 He said to him the third time,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he
said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him,
"Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to
him, "Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were
young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you
are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you
and carry you where you do not wish to go." 19 (This he said to show
by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him,
Meditation:Why didn't the apostles immediately recognize the
Risen Lord Jesus when he greeted them at the Sea of Tiberias (also
called the lake of Gennesaret or Galilee)? John gives us a clue. He
states that Peter had decided to return to his home district of
Galilee, very likely so he could resume his fishing career. Peter
was discouraged and didn't know what to do after the tragedy of
Jesus' death! He went back to his previous job as a fisherman out of
uncertainty for his future. Six of the other apostles followed him
back to Galilee.
The Lord Jesus renews Peter's faith and calling - and ours as
Why did Jesus choose to reveal himself to the apostles at the Sea of
Galilee - and right after they had spent a whole night of futile
fishing? The Risen Lord was waiting on the shore for Peter and the
other apostles. When their boat drew near the shore, Jesus
questioned them and then gave a command to lower their nets into the
sea. When their nets began to burst at the great haul of fish, John,
the beloved disciple, recognized that it was the Lord who was
speaking to them. Peter then immediately leaped from the boat and
ran to the Lord. Do you run to the Lord Jesus when you meet setbacks
and disappointments, and when you faith is being put to the test?
The Lord Jesus is always ready to renew us in faith and to give each
of us fresh hope in his promises for us.
Why did Jesus perform this miraculous catch of fish after his third
resurrection appearance to the apostles? By looking back to the
first miracle of the great catch of fish, we can recognize the
significance of Jesus repeating this miracle again for his apostles.
The first miracle took place at the beginning of Jesus' ministry in
Galilee when the Lord called Peter to leave all and follow him.
After Peter had fished all night and caught nothing, Jesus commanded
him to lower his nets (see Luke 5:4-11).
When his nets began to break under the weight of the great haul,
Jesus then spoke to Peter and gave him a new calling and mission -
from now on he would be "catching people" for the kingdom of God
(Luke 5:10). Jesus repeats this miracle for Peter to remind him that
he must continue his mission of "catching people" and "making
disciples" for the kingdom of Christ.
Skeptics who disbelieve the resurrection accounts say the disciples
only saw a vision of Jesus. The Gospels, however, give us a vivid
picture of the reality of the resurrected and glorified body of the
Lord Jesus. Jesus went out of his way to offer his disciples various
proofs of his physical resurrection - that he is real and true
flesh, not just a spirit or imaginary ghost.
Do you love me more than anything else?
In his third appearance to the apostles, Jesus prepared a breakfast
for them and ate with them. Peter's prompt response to draw near to
the Lord and eat breakfast with him stands in sharp contrast to his
previous denial and distancing himself from his Master during the
night of Jesus' arrest and trial. Why did Jesus question Peter's
love and loyalty three times in front of the other disciples? It
must have caused Peter pain and sorrow since he had publicly denied
Jesus three times previously. Now Peter, full of remorse and
humility, unequivocally stated that he loved his Lord and Master and
was willing to serve him whatever it might cost.
When Jesus asked Peter "do you love me more than these?" he may have
pointed to the boats, nets and other fishing companions. He may have
challenged Peter to let go of his career as a fisherman for the task
of shepherding the people whom Christ would call to be his
disciples. Jesus may have also pointed to the other apostles and to
Peter's previous boast: "Though they all fall away because of you, I
will never fall away" (Matthew 26:33). Peter now makes no boast or
comparison but humbly responds: "You know I love you."
The Lord wants to renew our minds and rekindle
our hearts with his transforming love
The Lord Jesus calls each one of us, even in our personal struggles,
weakness, and sin, to draw near to him as our merciful Healer and
Savior. He invites us to choose him as our Lord and to love him
above all else. What can hold us back from giving him our undivided
love and unqualified loyalty (Romans 8:38-39)? Nothing but our own
sinful pride and stubborn will, and blind fear can hold us back from
receiving his gracious forgiveness, loving-kindness, and faithful
love. God's abundant grace (favor and blessing) is a free and
unmerited gift, far beyond what we deserve or could possibly hope to
obtain through our own means. We can never outmatch God in
generosity and goodness. He loved us first and our love for him is a
response to his exceeding grace (unmerited favor) and mercy.
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) wrote in his famous confession
a remarkable prayer of thanksgiving and love:
"Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so
new. Late have I loved you! ...You shone your Self upon me to
drive away my blindness. You breathed your fragrance upon me...
and in astonishment I drew my breath...now I pant for you! I
tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you. You touched me!
- and I burn to live within your peace. " (Confessions
The Lord Jesus wants to personally draw near to each one of us
and he knocks every day on the door of our hearts and he waits for
our response (Revelation 3:20). Do you recognize the Lord's
presence with you and do you listen for his voice as he speaks to
you in your heart and through the word of God in the Sacred
Scriptures? The Lord is ever ready to help us grow in the knowledge
of his great love for us and in the exceeding richness of his
mercies and goodness towards us. Ask the Lord Jesus to rekindle
your love for him and to transform your life through the power and
action of the Holy Spirit who dwells within you.
"Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your merciful love and remove
everything that is unkind, ungrateful, unloving and unholy, and
that is not in accord with your will. May I always seek to love
you above all else and follow you wherever you wish to lead me."
1 I will extol you, O LORD, for you have
drawn me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
3 O LORD, you have brought up my soul from
Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
4 Sing praises to the LORD, O you his
saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a
lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the
10 Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD,
be my helper!"
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have
loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.
A Daily Quote for the early church fathers: Jesus'
question to Peter, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430
"Christ rose again in the flesh, and Peter rose in the spirit
because, when Christ died in his passion, Peter died by his
denial. Christ the Lord was raised from the dead, and out of his
love he raised Peter. He questioned him about the love he was
confessing and entrusted him with his sheep. After all, what
benefit could Peter confer on Christ by the mere fact of his
loving Christ? If Christ loves you, it is to your advantage, not
Christ's. And if you love Christ, it is to your advantage, not
Christ's. And yet Christ the Lord wanted to indicate how people
ought to show that they love Christ. And he made it plain enough
by entrusting him with his sheep. 'Do you love me?' 'I do' 'Feed
my sheep.' All this once, all this a second time, all this a third
time. Peter made no other reply than that he loved him. The Lord
asked no other question but whether he loved him. When Peter
answered, our Lord did nothing else but entrust his sheep to
him." (excerpt from Sermon 229n)
from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible,
copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of
Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches
of Christ in the United States of America. Used by
permission. All rights reserved. Citation references
for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can
be found here.
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