Back to Peter. Last time, we found Peter out in the boat with Jesus. He doesn’t catch fish all night, but at Jesus’ command, the boat overflows with the fish he hauls in.
This personal miracle seems to speak to Peter in a unique way. He is convicted of his sin, for he kneels at Jesus’ feet and cries out,
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Luke 5:8
Peter will have much to learn, but yielding to Christ is a beginning step of trusting.
The night Nicodemus comes to visit Jesus provides another understanding of who Jesus is. Possibly Peter could have been nearby as Nicodemus comes to ask his questions. Nicodemus says,
“Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” John 3:2
Jesus cuts right to the chaste of what Nicodemus needs to hear.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, He cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
Perhaps Peter thinks the same thing as Nicodemus. How can a man enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time? They soon learn that Jesus is speaking figuratively. We are born of flesh—born physically, but we must also be born of the spirit—born spiritually.
How to do that? Another part of the conversation includes John 3:16…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have life eternal.”
Believe. Believe and not perish. Have eternal life. Jesus goes on…
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.”John 3:17
Saved through him.
Little by little, Peter must internalize these words. He has the next three years to do so as he learns to trust what Jesus says and does. Jesus will correct Peter, lead him, empower him, teach him, rebuke him… forgive him.
But the first step for Peter—and for us all—is to be assured of spiritual rebirth.
How do we share the joy of believing and looking forward to life eternal with the Father?
I have a friend at the Y with whom I chit-chat at times when we end up on the recumbent bikes side by side. Last week, she was wringing her hands, so to speak, about all the weather disasters and the mass killings, etc. I said, “Oh I know, it’s awful. It makes us realize how much we need to depend on our faith.” She was getting off her bike, but at least I planted the thought.
We must share our faith, even in simple ways, because there’s a world out there that hasn’t come to spiritual rebirth. Help us, O Lord, to be bold.
~ Joyce ~