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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Come and have breakfast.

“Come and have breakfast.”  (John 21:12)
One very small sentence.  But to understand everything that happened around that one sentence is so humbling to me.  Jesus had died, been buried, and been raised from the dead.  He had been stranded and betrayed by his closest earthly friends.  Friends that claimed to love him.  Friends that claimed they would never leave him, never deny him.
After Jesus died, Peter, who had betrayed Jesus by denying him three times went back to fishing.  I’m not sure what that says about Peter.  I don’t necessarily thin it was a bad idea.  He was probably full of grief and confusion and to go back to doing the one thing he knew how to do may have given him comfort.  It was also his livelihood.  And just like the day that Peter was called by Jesus to become a fisher of men, Peter was not catching any fish this day either.  Jesus, who is on the shore says the same words he spoke to Peter three long years ago.  “Cast your net on the other side.”  That does it!  Peter knows this man on the shore is Jesus.  This is the first time Peter and Jesus have encountered each other since the night Peter denied Jesus.  Jesus goes to where Peter is fishing, and he makes him and the others breakfast.  At that breakfast Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him.  How very, very hard that must have been for Peter!
Such a simple thing.  To make a meal for someone.  But what about making a meal for someone who betrayed you?  Still, Jesus did not chew Peter out.  He gently, calmly asked Peter, the betrayer, if he was sure about his love for Jesus.  Jesus shows remarkable character in this scene.  How can we be more like Him?
Jesus provides an example for how we might respond to betrayal.  Granted we are not Jesus, and granted Peter was sorry for his actions.  Regardless, Jesus’ response to betrayal is to share a meal and have a needed conversation, in hopes of restoration.
Lord Jesus, when someone betrays us, help us to look at your example as we respond.  You were betrayed and you made a meal and talked it through.  Give us the strength to ask the one who betrayed us the hard questions.  Give us the patience and the willingness to listen to the answers.  Lord, it is easy to be hurt and to want to hurt in kind.  Thank you instead for your example.  Thank you that we serve a King who has suffered what we have suffered and offers us another way.  In your name we pray, Amen.

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