Have you ever felt as though you had failed the Lord, and there was no way He would want you to serve Him again? Peter felt that way after having promised Jesus that he would go to the death or to prison with Him, only to then deny Him three times before sunup. I am sure when Jesus turned to look at him after that third denial, that Peter thought there was no way in the world that Jesus would ever want to use him again. It has always interested me that the angel told the women who first came to the empty tomb to make sure they told Peter that He had risen.
There is a great lesson in the verse I want to share with you today. Whether or not you have ever felt that you were unworthy of being used by God or not, it is important that we all realize that none of us is worthy of being used of God. Peter must have surely felt the sting of disappointment with his own actions. When you come to the last chapter of the book of John, you will see an interesting verse. “Simon Peter saith unto them, ‘I go a fishing’ They say unto him, ‘We also go with thee.’ They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing” (John 21:3).
There are a number of lessons I see in this single verse. First, I see that when we feel that we have disappointed the Lord, we often feel like going back to what we were before we met Him. Peter very quickly resorted to the profession he had before Jesus called him to be a disciple. When I was a young man, my father taught me the value of staying with a job until it is completed. When I felt like a failure, and ready to quit, my father told me that if I started quitting that day, I would never stop quitting. This was good advice that Peter would learn later in this chapter.
Second, it is important for us to realize that our actions have an impact on others. When Peter announced that he was returning to what he had done before, the others joined with him. He was a leader, whether he liked it or not! You and I would like to think that our poor choices only affect us, but the reality is that our bad choices may be picked up quicker than we would like. There were many times when I corrected our children for behavior they learned from me.
Third, it is important to see that the efforts we make that are outside the will of God will result in a boat full of nets, with no fish. When God called Peter to fish for men, his fishing for fish days ended. God wants you and I to fish for men. Other efforts will fail if outside the will of God. Keep serving God until He tells you that your service is no longer needed!