a charcoal grilling
"When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire." —John 21:9
When Simon Peter denied Jesus three times, he was standing beside "a charcoal fire" (Jn 18:18). After meeting the risen Jesus several times, Simon Peter then decided to return to his pre-Jesus career of commercial fishing (Jn 21:3), in effect denying Jesus' call to be a fisher of men (Lk 5:10).
In asking Simon "Do you love Me?" three times by a charcoal fire, Jesus also took him back to the scene of his three denials. Jesus allowed Simon Peter to undo his denials and replace them with a profession of love. Jesus restored Peter and cleansed him of guilt and shame.
Simon's denials were escalating. Jesus decided to intervene. Jesus had once told Simon clearly that if he knew his Master's wishes, but did not prepare to carry them out, he would be severely punished and ranked "among those undeserving of trust" (Lk 12:46-47). However, Jesus came to Simon Peter not with the promised punishment but with compassion. Rather than ranking Simon among the untrustworthy, Jesus instead restored Peter's commission in the presence of several other apostles (Jn 21:15-17), trusting him to feed His people with the gospel.
Where is the "charcoal fire" in your life? Are you hiding your shame and guilt from Jesus? Open your heart to Jesus and allow Him into the worst areas of your life. He is gentle, compassionate, and "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4). He wants to restore, cleanse, and empower you to help Him build His kingdom.
Prayer: Jesus, why do I hide from You? I open wide my life to You. Burn away my unworthiness and consume me in Your love.
Promise: "There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved." —Acts 4:12
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus, Who asks us, mercifully and repeatedly, "Do you love Me?"
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004
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