Elephant on the Beach – John 21:1-19
Then he said to him, “Follow me!” ~John 21:19b
Ever heard the term ‘elephant in the room’? Not sure if Peter ever encountered a real elephant in his lifetime, but I’ve got the feeling that there was an invisible one right there on the beach that day when Jesus cooked breakfast for his disciples.
What kind of emotions might have washed over Peter?
A night of fishless fishing: Disappointment
Taking advice from ‘someone on the beach’: Mildly annoying
Influx of fish: Elation
Recognition that the ‘someone on the beach’ is Jesus: Unbridled excitement
Watching fish being cooked over a fire made of coals: Distressing
Jesus approaching to ‘have a talk’: (Hmmm, what do you think?)
Jesus’ conversation with Peter was… heart rending and confronting! Conversations that lead to the restoration of relationships can be like that. And while on this occasion ‘the elephant’ wasn’t actually mentioned by name, the baggage was dealt with. Peter experienced forgiveness and restoration. His error had been paid for on the cross. And now Jesus reinstated him. It didn’t derail the plan that God had for him.
Around three years earlier, on the banks of Galilee, Jesus had called Peter to follow him.
Through their time together, Peter and the disciples watched and learned from the Good Shepherd, as he led, cared for, loved and sacrificed for ‘his sheep’.
Now, with the elephant gone and their relationship restored, Jesus invited Peter to once again, follow him… to feed and care for his sheep.
Forgiveness is healing and a powerful way to get things ‘back on track’…
While Jesus already knows about ‘the elephants’ in our lives, it can be helpful to name them in our conversations with him… so we can be freed. Jesus has already paid for our mistakes. Why not ask the Holy Spirit for his guidance and help?
Then, as with Peter, hear Jesus’ words as he invites you to once again, ‘Follow Me’.
God bless your day,