Peter’s Boxers

8 08 2013

Peter stood on the deck of the fishing boat, feet spread to give him balance. His wind-tossed hair matched his tumbling thoughts. He was confused, not sure what he should do next.

On top of that, he was feeling awkward. Just days before He’d betrayed his dearest Friend. This hung between them like a heavy veil. Jesus, having been resurrected, had returned to their lives, but not in the same way as before. His disciples were no longer part of His entourage.

Feeling like an outcast, his most-prized relationship strained, he had returned to his occupation before Jesus – fishing. The rest of the disciples joined him, for they were also floundering.

After a worthless night (they’d caught nothing), Someone called to them from the shore, asking if they had any fish. They had to admit that the night was a total bust.

The Man told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. When they did, they caught more than they could haul into the boat.

John suddenly recognized Him, and exclaimed, “It is the Lord.”

At this point, Peter did something very odd. He put on his outer garment, jumped into the water, and swam to shore!

Picture this: he’s standing on the boat, presumably in his boxers (or whatever they wore under their outer garment). Whatever his attire, he’s visible from the shore. His decision to grab his clothes can’t be a modesty issue.

It would have made more sense for him to jump in the water in whatever he was wearing, and then dress when the boat and the rest of the fellows arrived.

That’s what I would have done…

…or would I?

Consider the situation. As Jesus foretold, Peter denied the Lord before His crucifixion. Peter had been in His presence since Jesus’ resurrection, but this issue was unresolved. While Peter was comfortable being nearly naked with his friends, he was not about to be in the Lord’s presence in that state.

Isn’t this a lot like us? We can be with our friends and “let it all hang out,” but the minute we sense the Lord, we quickly cover up. It’s as if we don’t believe that He is omniscient – He knows everything. Everything!

In Peter’s story, I see my own. Many times I’ve “hidden” from God. I blew it, and was afraid of what He would do to me.

I hid because I didn’t really believe what the Bible says about God; that He is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin (Exodus 34:6-7). In fact, God was the One who described Himself this way.

Thus I chose to be covered and ashamed when I could have bared my soul before Him…and let Him bear my shame.

For Peter, the story has a happy ending. Jesus got to the point of tension quickly with a single question: “Peter, do you love Me?” Through the dialog that followed, their relationship was restored.

He does the same for us.

With Jesus, restoration is a quick process. He has no desire to drag it out, punish us for our actions, or let us suffer a while before He forgives us. He is so eager to be in fellowship with us that He seeks us out. We don’t get chewed out or ridiculed. He cuts to the chase, and addresses the issue; and then the matter is settled – thrown into the Sea of Forgetfulness, where He remembers it no more.

This process amazes me every time I experience it.

Lord, I am so quick to hide from You – despite what You’ve told me to expect. Help me to really know and believe the truth about who You are and what You are like. Give me the  courage to face You when I’ve made a mess of things again. Thank You for Your mercy and grace.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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19 responses

10 08 2013
Toni Sprandel

Pure awesomeness! How true it is, we try to cover up around Jesus when He above everyone else, knows all! Thanks for this great post!

10 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

10 08 2013
platinumdonmccoy

Hmn…This is really insightful. Thank God for His Spirit that makes us find DEEP things in the Bible. This teaching is MEAT, keep away from children.

9 08 2013
Peg

Oooohhhh, such good stuff here! Great post, Tami! And great discussion!

9 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Love the discussion for sure!

\o/

9 08 2013
vonhonnauldt

There’s an interesting verse in Mark 16:7, where the angel at the tomb told the women, “go, tell His disciples – and Peter….” The angel made a point that Peter should be told, even though he had denied his Lord. I put my name there, as well, thankful that the Lord included me in His blessings and grace, in spite of my failings..

9 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Oh, me too, me too! 🙂

\o/

8 08 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Great post, Tami. I always thought it was odd that they took the word of a person on shore to tell them where to cast the net without suspicion. Apparently, they were desperate to try anything after a fishless day. It was then, with a full net, that they recognized it was Jesus.

8 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Funny what desperation will drive us to, isn’t it?

\o/

8 08 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Oh yes, I am very acquainted with choices made out of desperation. 😉

8 08 2013
In Her Words Avenue

I just nominated you for the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’. See it HERE: http://inherwordsavenue.com/2013/08/08/the-versatile-blogger-award. And enjoy, it is well deserved.

8 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thank you so much. I am honored and humbled by your kindness. 🙂

\o/

8 08 2013
Pure Glory

Tami, thanks for a thought provoking post!

8 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

I think this one was for me, today. 🙂

\o/

8 08 2013
Pure Glory

🙂

8 08 2013
Chrystal

I had never noticed that part about putting ON his clothes! Very interesting point about how we cover up….true. And pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

8 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

I feel pretty silly when I realize that’s what I’ve done…again! 😉

\o/

8 08 2013
Kathleen

Tami, I was fascinated with this account too and had found out that when fishing by casting nets, the fisher will strip down to nothing to dive in and retrieve the net that has trapped the fish on the bottom. Peter wasn’t just casually fishing, he was returning to his family business. As you pointed out he’s covering up that too. It is interesting too that Jesus no longer calls him to be a fisher of men but now calls him to be a shepherd. Great Post! So applicable to us.

8 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Hmm. Missed that last bit. He was given an entirely new vocation – and title, even though Jesus called them originally to be “fishers of men.” Very good point!

\o/

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