Jump ship or stay safe in the boat

The 21st chapter of John is one of my favorites, and while every book and chapter of the Bible is important, John 21 has a lot of lessons for Christians and dads. If you need a refresher course, the events take place after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Several disciples are fishing and Jesus appears to them on the shore, only they do not know it is Jesus. The Lord asks them if they had any fish, they tell him no and that results in Jesus instructing them on where to cast their nets.

After following instructions and netting a multitude of fish, John pipes up and says, ‘It is the Lord.’ Upon hearing this, Peter (not John) jumps out of the boat and swims to shore. The other disciples (including John) bring the boat to shore, dragging the net with fishes. As soon as they come to land, the disciples see that Jesus has made a fire and prepared fish and bread (verse 9). When Jesus tells them to bring him the fish they caught, Peter is the disciple that gets the fish for the Lord (verse 11).

There are all kinds of Christian dads, but not all of us act the same way, even when it comes to Jesus. Keep in mind that John was part of Jesus’ inner circle. John was also “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” yet he stayed safely in the boat and came to Jesus in his own time. Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to shore. Moreover, when Jesus told the disciples to bring him the fish they caught (verse 10) Peter is the only one that follows Jesus’ instructions. The other disciples, I think, got distracted by the fire, fish, and bread.

There is a lot going on in our world, but if we really want to follow Jesus, we need to follow His instructions and take note of how we respond. Do we ‘jump ship’ to be near Jesus, regardless of the consequences? Peter obviously did not care about getting wet. Peter wanted to be near Jesus. The other disciples stayed in the boat, and while they eventually came to Jesus, Peter was the one that did the ‘heavy lifting’ in bringing Jesus the fish.

What’s it going to be, dads? Do what Jesus says, or take our time and watch others do the work for us?

Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the World (Matthew 5:13-14 KJV.)

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you become fishers of men (Mark 1:17 KJV.)

Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV.)

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV.)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 KJV.)

Chris Woodward

Assistant Editor, One Million Dads
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