That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” (John 21:7)

Forgive me if you’ve heard this before; I must have read this a gazillion times, but I never really connected it … (duh)

Anyway, for Peter, the charcoal fire he’s now standing in front of must have brought the past rushing back, and the scene surely becomes a nightmare of memory, betrayal, and pain because the last time Peter saw Jesus was when he’d stood before yet another charcoal fire and denied his Lord three times!

So, confronting the risen Jesus before this charcoal fire is going to take a lot of work for Peter - and in this recognition of himself as a betrayer, Simon Peter stands before this charcoal fire as a symbol of us all.

Nonetheless, Jesus, as the true embodiment of Love Personified, doesn’t do this to make Peter feel bad or create an emotional trigger of regret—but to let Peter get past his past!

Jesus doesn’t say, well, Peter, are you sorry for what you did? Instead, he simply asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” This wasn’t done to bring up his faults but to enable Peter to move past his failure by acknowledging his love and recognising Christ’s love for him – a love which never failed. Peter’s fall was painfully depressing, but Christ’s Faithfulness was totally freeing!

Jesus wants US ALL to get past our past – not by begging for mercy, but by ‘believing’ in his Merciful Grace! So, whatever ‘charcoal fire’ experience the accuser is bringing back to your mind right now, don’t hide your head in shame any longer. Look to Jesus, and whatever happened in your past will no longer stand for depressive betrayal; instead, and forevermore, it will remind us all of our Saviour’s unquenchable forgiveness and love.

As usual, I asked the Lord what He wanted to say, and He reminded me of this verse, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]. Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you. (Eph 3:31)

“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death.” (Rev 2:11) ❤️