He was on the path to success. One of the inner 12 to the most popular Rabbi of his day. He was respected by the other 11. He had lived 3 years of adventure – seen lives changed, people healed, food multiplied, even the dead rise. He had walked on water and spoke up claiming he knew his master was the Son of the Living God.
But in a matter of days, everything around him collapsed. He had refused to have his feet washed only to be rebuked. He had drawn his blade to defend his master, only to be shut down and corrected. And then he had denied Him three times, and that on the same day he said he would never do that.
Fire place #1 … Jesus has been arrested. They were questioning Him before the high priest, and Peter had stealthily followed. He was warming himself by a fire, a charcoal fire. Once, twice, thrice they asked him if he was one of the disciples. Denial three times over, even cussing at them. And there by the fire … the rooster crowed and Jesus looked at him. So, he fled. Defeated, broken, a failure.
And Jesus died. But He didn’t stay that way. He rose from the dead.
And though He had appeared to Peter, I can imagine Peter felt like he had blown it so badly, failed so terribly, fallen so far … that he was way beyond ever being used again. So he went back to the one thing he thought he hadn’t messed up. He went back to fishing. But even there, he failed. All night he fished … and caught nothing. He was worthless.
But Jesus looks past the screwups. He knows the failures but doesn’t give up on us.
The following morning after a night of catch less fishing , (a few weeks after the resurrection) Jesus shows up on the beach and tells them to cast the net on the other side. They do it, and BAM, fish … lots of fish.
Fire place #2 – Peter, realizing it was Jesus, jumps out of the boat and swims to shore. And what does he find? Jesus cooking fish and bread for breakfast cooking on a charcoal fire. The word appears twice in scripture. It is used here and at the denial.
I believe Jesus was connecting and dealing with Peter’s failure. And He was giving Peter a future. It’s not directly in the text, but there are so many connections in these few verses. And charcoal fire would be only just one way.
He ate with Peter. Experienced fellowship. Peter was challenged three times about love. And He gave Peter a future.
Jesus can do the same with you. Don’t let failure define you. Let Jesus deal with it. Let Him deal with the failure and let you know He still has a future for you.
Peter would not see fire any more and connect it to failure. It would now be the place Jesus have him a future.
I have failed, lots. But I know they were not the end. Don’t let failure define you. Take them to Jesus.