Do you remember how Jesus called Peter to come and follow Him? He called to Peter and Andrew “… Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Peter and Andrew had been fishermen by trade. It was how they made their living, supported their family and paid the bills. Jesus made a plea to them to leave what they knew best and to surrender to His will. Jesus wanted them to take the same determination and hard work ethic from their profession of catching fish, to work for Him in reaching men and women for Christ.
Peter and Andrew surrendered their lives to follow Jesus … or did they? In John 21, following Peter’s denials of Christ, the crucifixion, the resurrection and Jesus’ appearing to them on that first Sunday night, it says, “There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples. 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 21:2-3).
There are a number of things that came to my mind as I read these verses. Jesus called Peter and Andrew to change their goal from fish to men. After Peter denied the Lord those three times, it is my opinion that he felt that God could not use him anymore and he returned to what he knew to do again. That is understandable, and even excusable. However, what touched my heart today while reading these verses, was the influence Peter had on the others. Thomas, Nathanael, James and John (sons of Zebedee), and two other disciples followed Peter to the boat to return to fishing. I count seven of the eleven remaining disciples in that boat.
Here is the thought for the day from me … who are you influencing today? The second thought … what are you influencing them to do? We don’t like to admit this, but there is always someone following us in what we are doing. Don’t think for a moment that your actions are only affecting you. Just like a simple, singular pebble thrown into a calm lake makes many, many ripples, your life and decisions are making a difference in the lives of others. Make sure that your life and decisions will lead others to Jesus today. Don’t waste a moment. Peter might have thought that his time of influence for Christ was gone because of his three denials, but he was still making a difference. You may have disappointed yourself and God in the past, but you still have influence today. Don’t waste the opportunities God will give you today to serve Him and influence others.