Have you ever thought of a person who had wonderful gifts but kept blowing his reputation by the things he said and did?
There is a song by a gifted songwriter, Branid Carlile who captures this essence in a song she calls “That Wasn’t Me”. I understand it talks about a alcoholic family member who does something that is inconsistent with the real person they feel they are. “Whatever you see, that wasn’t me”. I would encourage you to listen to it. You can find it on iTunes.
Back to my question. I want to talk about living inconsistently with who we really are. It is a human experience. We want to do one thing and end up doing another. Remember Paul saying it so well in Romans 7:15 (NLT):
“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”
Maybe Brandi was right. We see our actions going the opposite to our deepest desires. So we tell others don’t see us as we do but see us as we intend to be. That may well be true. Think about it in your life. What is your experience?
Here is the dilemma. Consequences of actions. They hurt. We may not even be aware of the results of our actions. Someone else may have to tell us.
It has been my experience these are the worse kinds of injuries. We don’t like to intentionally hurt others. But we really don’t like it when our actions have done just that and we were unaware of the impact to others.
Jesus knew this when he told Peter (Mark 14:29 THE MESSAGE) that he would deny being his friend three times in a very short time. Peter knew deep inside he was a follower of Jesus and he would NEVER betray that friendship. But Jesus was so right when later that night (Mark 14:66-72), some girls provoked him to refuse being one of the band of brothers. It took a rooster for it to really set in just what he had done.
What to do?
Well, he was in pretty miserable company for most all of the faithful twelve were nowhere to be seen at the Crucifixion other than John.
What do you think Peter felt then?
Seems likely he would want to rewind the tape and get a do-over. Or at least to somehow tell everyone who he really was affiliated to. Instead the story unfolds and you can imagine Peter unable to ever go to Jesus personally and confess. Read Luke 24.12 (THE MESSAGE) The deed was done. There were no do-overs. His world was filled with regret. And his friend was no where to be seen. Not even in the grave. He had done something unthinkable and now unforgivable. At least in his understanding of the moment.
The story unfolds that since they were fisherman, Peter decided to do what he did…go fishing. But it wasn’t a very good night for fishing. Some days you just hang out with the guys.
Mark 16:7 (THE MESSAGE)
“Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”
What should they do but go back to fishing in Galilee. So Peter and the guys fished all night trying to figure out what to do next. Or maybe just sleeping away the weariness of meaninglessness. It was a very hard day to be a disciple – a follower needs someone to follow. Yes, Jesus told them what He was going to do, but these guys had no experience in this supernatural stuff without Jesus being in the thick of it. Oh yes, they had gone out two by two and stuff happened, but this was different. They really felt confused in their loneliness. Would Jesus come once again to them after the Resurrection?
Well, after a restless night, sunrise came. Sure enough, Jesus was there that morning walking on the shore.
John 21 The Message (MSG)
21 1-3 After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it: Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the brothers Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.”
3-4 The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him.
5 Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?”
They answered, “No.”
6 He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.”
They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in.
7-9 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!”
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. The other disciples came in by boat for they weren’t far from land, a hundred yards or so, pulling along the net full of fish. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it.
10-11 Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter joined them and pulled the net to shore—153 big fish! And even with all those fish, the net didn’t rip.
12 Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master.
13-14 Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.
So now, you might understand the title of this blog post, Sharing a Fish Taco. These guys were looking to their Master and He gave like He so often did, He took the fish and bread and gave it to them to eat. COMMUNION. I think this was more than just a little food break, a snack. No, this was a revelation. All of the disciples present saw Jesus in a fresh way. They were encouraged once again. They knew they were disciples of something, SOME ONE so much greater than themselves. I think Peter discovered a new sense of his calling to be a Fisher of Men. Renamed from Simon to Peter, the rock, he was learning something about himself as Jesus revealed it. And here was the clincher. The one-on-one conversation between Jesus and Peter:
John 21 The Message (MSG)
John Do You Love Me?
15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”
17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, “Follow me.”
This journey would not be a simple one any longer, being a Gafishilean fisherman or a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth following where He would lead. No, in a few short days, the Holy Spirit would guide Peter into his destiny. And that would be more amazing than anyone could have imagined.
The turning point for Peter came when Jesus did not reject him for failing but encouraged him to do more than he had ever done. The question Do you love me three times was not easy, but it was cleansing. Peter was forgiven of his past. He saw himself from the perspective of his Master finally. What a day. He would never be the same.
And Jesus gave this commission to him over a fish taco.