by: Jan Whitaker
I don’t know about you, but the mere mention of “campfire” floods my mind of fond childhood memories. We sang camp songs; performed fun, usually silly skits; cooked and ate hotdogs and s’mores; told stories and worshipped God all with our newly found best-friend-camp-buddies. There’s something about a campfire that warms your soul with peace, fellowship and renewal!
It’s no surprise that Jesus used a campfire to draw seven of his disciples. It was after his death and resurrection when he found them fishing at Lake Galilee. The seven spent the night without catching any fish. John 21:6 explains,
Jesus shouted to them, “Throw your net over the starboard side, and you’ll catch some!” And so they did as he said, and they caught so many fish they couldn’t even pull in the net! (The Passion Translation)
Although they didn’t recognize him at first, when the disciples reached the shore they saw that Jesus had a fire going with roasted fish and bread. Jesus told them to bring the fish they had caught. The net was so full of fish (one hundred and fifty-three) that it was torn. Jesus asked them to come sit by the fire and have the breakfast he prepared. That must have been a sweet time of fellowship for all of them. This was the third time Jesus appeared after his resurrection.
Shortly after breakfast, Jesus asked Peter three consecutive times if he loved him. Each time Peter replied that he did. After the third time, Peter’s response was one of sadness. He told Jesus, “My Lord, you know everything. You know that I burn with love for you! (John 21:17). Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep!” He then prophesied about the type of death Peter would experience.
It wasn’t but just a few days before, that Peter was huddled around a different fire made by the soldiers and guards who had taken Jesus to the high priest for interrogation before his death. This is when Peter denied knowing him three times. I love how The Passion Translation contrasts and yet illustrates the significance between the two events.
Jesus knew how to bring healing to Peter and remove the pain of his denial. Three times Peter denied Jesus, but three times he makes his confession of his deep love for Christ. By the third time, the “crowing rooster” inside Peter had been silenced, and now he was ready to be a shepherd for Jesus’ flock. (See Notes for John 21:15, emphasis mine.)
What can we gain from this? Jesus consistently demonstrated His desire to give everything possible to us. It’s interesting how many times that was combined with fire, including the tongues of fire when the disciples and followers received the Holy Spirit. Like Peter, remembrance of our past should be gone. We are equipped with holy fire! Let’s be about sharing the Good News that brings peace, fellowship and renewal to others!
Written by Jan Whitaker, Director of FMIN Workplace Leaders Network
Cleve and Jan Whitaker are the new WLN Directors. Living in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, USA, they are an active part of Faith Ministries Community Church. Cleve is owner and manager of Capstone Carriers, LLC; a trucking company specializing in flatbed freight throughout the U.S.
Jan retired from teaching in the inner city high schools and college/university campuses. She also worked for FMIN Network as the Administrative Director. Jan operates in the prophetic and travels nationally and internationally as a teacher and counselor with GX International.
Cleve and Jan describe their combined Mission Statement as: "To be outrageous givers for the Kingdom of God through financial support. To use our spiritual gifts for strengthening, encouraging, and establishing others in their identity in Christ." Their heart is to see others find and follow God's purpose in their individual workplace and mission field.
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