“Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written” Mark 14:27
The March 26 entry from Blackaby’s Day-By-Day Devotional sums up the teaching: “As you follow Jesus you will face moments of great distress. At times it will seem that events conspire to cause you to stumble in your relationship with Him. You do not initiate them, but they arise from opposition, or the intensity of your circumstances. Nevertheless, failure is the end result. The disciples faced such fierce opposition to their Lord that they all failed Him on the night Jesus was crucified.”
As I read those words, all the failures in my life came back washing over me. For 45 years I’d promised God over and over again that I wouldn’t fail, but over and over again I did.
I was reminded of the story of the disciples failing to catch even one fish after fishing all night on the Sea of Galilee. A stranger suggests that they put their nets in a different spot and amazingly, the fish are so plentiful that they can hardly haul them into the boat! It is only after he has helped them to succeed that they recognize the risen Christ. Shortly after, Christ encounters Peter on the seashore. Instead of scolding him and asking for a confession of sins, Christ asks Peter only for a confession of his love: “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these? “Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love you.” (John 21:4-15).
Last November on my trip to the Holy Land, I stood on the shore of the Sea of Galilee at Tiberias where Peter stood with Christ. It was then that I heard Christ say, “You are my beloved, too. Do you love me?” I stared in amazement! My failures and sins had been washed away by the abundant grace and mercy of Christ! He asked only that I love Him!
Every time I look at this beautiful olive wood carving from the Holy Land, it reminds me of that fishing expedition on the Sea of Galilee; the location of my encounter with the Risen Christ. Jesus wipes away my failures and my sins, and gives me more riches than I could have ever dreamed. All Jesus asks is that I love him.
“Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Blessings, my friend,