“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.” (John 21:3 ESV)
This week we’ll explore the final vow of the Celtic Vow of Friendship we’ve been looking into these past few weeks. The scripture for today sets the stage for this exploration. We’re familiar with the setting. Our Lord has died, resurrected, and is about to again appear to His disciples. Peter has set out to go fishing. Is he still beating himself up over his denial of Messiah? Is he feeling useless in ministry, unsure how to proceed? His Lord is dead. He denied Him. So he goes back to work doing what he knows how to do.
As an aside, I noticed something in this scripture: “but that night they caught nothing.” It just isn’t going to work. Peter had chosen to follow Y’shuaJesus, and isn’t going to be let of the hook so easily. Feeling sorry for himself or not, feeling guilty or not, Y’shuaJesus called him and that is the only way he’s going to be allowed to go.
Notice how Y’shua approaches Peter and the others. “ ‘Children, do you have any fish?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ 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, because of the quantity of fish.” (John 21:5-6 ESV)
How awesome is our G-d! How wonderful is our true Friend! Y’shuaJesus is not subject to disappointment. Rather he simply asks Peter and the others if their work is actually working. Then he tells them how to accomplish that work.
In the Celtic vow “I am not subject to disappointment,” notice that it doesn’t merely say “I am not disappointed.” Being subject to disappointment is like being held captive, hostage, to disappointment. Disappointment is a condition of feeling disappointed. If I am subject to a condition of feeling disappointed, I’ll always feel disappointed. It isn’t just about being disappointed in something that has occurred, it is a mindset of being disappointed in future interactions. Y’shuaJesus is not subject to this condition. And neither ought we be held hostage to feelings. We have elements of inhumanity within us, a condition of the “fall.” So we acknowledge improper feelings, confessing them, and then we need get over them before we approach our friends, and even our enemies.
Look at what comes next in what some consider Peter’s restoration, Y’shuaJesus calls the disciples to breakfast. How marvelous. No recrimination. Just an offer of a meal. After the meal Y’shuaJesus asks Peter if he loves Him more than these. These? These men, friends of SimonPeter? These fish, the boats, the gear? Perhaps both the men and the fishing industry to which they’d returned. Peter says yes, he loves the Lord. Three times this occurs and each time Y’shua’s response is to get going, do the work prepared for him: Feed Y’shuaJesus’s sheep.
Father G-d, You redeemed us by the sacrifice of Your Son Y’shuaJesus, we have been purchased to do Your will by the power of Your Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Just as You have put aside our failures, and accepted us, enable us to not be subject to disappointment in our relations with others. In the Name of Y’shuaJesus. Amen.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .