"Follow me!" "Follow me!"
In those two words we have the encouraging invitation of Christ to Peter and the other disciples gathered there by the Lake Tiberias, where he first called them from their fishing nets.
These are very last two recorded words of Christ to his followers in the Gospel of John!
What is our sense of them and the final scene there with Christ on the shore of the lake?
The men were just fishermen and Christ said, “Follow me!”. What could it mean? And where might it lead? They were just a bunch of fishermen and evidently not too good at the trade either. What could it mean to follow Christ?
And that searching question with the astonishing request: “Do you love me?”
And the same question three times, followed by: “Feed my lambs! Feed my sheep!”.
What an extraordinary and powerful scene it really is! No-one could have anticipated it.
What was in the mind of Peter when he said to his companions, "I'm going fishing!"
They all said, “We will come with you”.
And throughout the whole night, they caught nothing! They experienced their incapacity as fishermen and lack of ‘know-how’.
Then Christ steps in, redeems the whole scene and charges it with a dynamism that lasts even unto today!
We too are there at the scene with Peter and the others. We too know the inept feeling of men or women as we go about our daily tasks. We too are questioned, commissioned and invited to follow Christ.
Allow me to add a little to the words of Christ to Peter. Are they part of my story too?
Do I recognise myself there on the shore of Lake Tiberias, being questioned by Christ and invited to follow him?
I Once Called You Peter
I once called you Peter, and you left all behind,
Are you going to return to fishing now?
Is the cross such a scandal?
Are you going to retreat
from your pain and confusion
into a wanton dreaminess
or senseless remorse?
Or have you come here to the
Lake of Tiberias to rekindle
The dream you had when I first
Called you from your nets?
I sense you feel vulnerable and
Unsure of yourself and that is
Why I am here.
I am with you in your need.
I only want to help you get in touch again with your heart.
Yes, I know you love me,
But do you know that?
That is why I asked you!
It was early morning. The mist on the waters was clearing. A whole new day was dawning. Suddenly, simply, Peter felt everything was falling into place. All made sense now. There was only one thing he could do -- and that was to follow Jesus. He had come home to his own heart at last. Nothing else mattered.