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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: The Big Catch
By Elaine Taylor


Peter was absolutely devastated. Even the excitement of knowing and seeing Jesus raised from the dead couldn't shake the darkness and despair from his broken heart. He had denied his dearest friend; ran and hid like a coward when He needed him most. Peter could not forgive himself. He announced to the other disciples that he was going to go back to fishing. Thomas offered to go with him. So did Nathanael , James and John. Several others decided to come as well. They all knew how bad Peter felt and didn't want to leave him alone.

It had been a long time since he had cast a net into the sea. They fished all night and came up empty-handed. Morning dawned and they decided to call it quits. A friendly voice from the shore broke the stillness of the new day, “Children, have you any food?” The answer was a weary, “No.” The stranger called out to them again, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” Peter shrugged his shoulders. Why not? What did they have to lose? The disciples flung out the net and immediately such a swarm of fish filled the net that the boat was in danger of capsizing. “It's the Lord!” crowed John. Peter stared at the beach in disbelief, threw on his outer garment and plunged into the sea. Strong strokes quickly helped him reach the shore and he then lent his strength to drag in the net bursting with its prize. Jesus already had fish and bread baking on a fire of coals. He added some of the fresh catch and encouraged the men to eat breakfast.

The disciples ate in silence. The bread and fish were hot and savory. The fire warmed them; peace and contentment filled them. Except Peter. He was miserable. Every morsel was lead in his mouth. Every bite choked him He couldn't look at anyone, especially Jesus. One by one the disciples fell asleep, weary from their night of fishing. Except Peter. Then he realized that someone had sat down beside him. It was Jesus. Peter's heart hammered in his chest. He wanted to run away, but fear and shame kept him from moving. Softly Jesus asked, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me unconditionally; with all of your heart, more than these men gathered around the fire?” Peter's mind scrambled for an answer. He stammered, “Yes, Lord; you know I have great fondness for You as a friend.” Jesus replied, “Feed My lambs.”

Feed My lambs? What did He mean? How could He talk to him after he had denied Him; left Him to His enemies? The low flames of the fire crackled as Jesus poked the coals with a stick. “Simon, son of John, do you love Me unconditionally, with all of your heart?” Again, Peter mumbled about his affection for his friend. “Tend My sheep.” A moment or so passed and a third time Jesus spoke. “Simon, son of John, do you have a great fondness for Me as a friend?” Peter burst into tears. “Lord, You know all things; You know I have a great fondness for You! You're my best friend!” he sobbed uncontrollably . “There, there Peter. Dry your eyes. Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish. Follow Me, Peter.”

Peter wiped away his tears and blew his nose. Turning around, he saw John snoring by the dying embers of the fire. Peter knew how much Jesus loved John. “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus smiled. “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” And Peter did.

John 21:1-22

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Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg02/10/07
You conveyed Peter's thoughts well in this - nicely done and a good retelling of a familiar story.
Kathie Thomas05/06/07
Apologies for contacting you this way Elaine, but can you please urgently PM me with your bio notes for the Faithwriters book 'Hidden in the Hymns'. Thank you.