No Turning Back!
The friends and followers of Jesus had mixed feelings and experiences after meeting with the risen Christ. It took some times for them to figure out what had happened. It was too much to handle and experience to see and meet the risen Christ. During the trial, arrest and crucifixion of Christ, most disciples of Jesus had left him and ran away. Peter the bold and outspoken disciple denied to recognize Jesus when he was asked by the people in the public. Peter had made a bold statement to Jesus that he would even die for him but he failed Jesus completely. Jesus had already told Peter that he would deny him three times. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead and appeared to his disciples, they were overwhelmed with the whole experience. Jesus had called them to be involved in the mission of witnessing the good news of the kingdom of God. But they were all reluctant because of the fear of the Jewish authorities. Among them, Peter was the most discouraged and demotivated disciples because he was full of guilt for denying Jesus three times before Jesus resurrection. He felt complete failure and didn't want to face Jesus as he felt Jesus must be very angry because what he did. He felt so unworthy that he went back to his old profession of fishing in stead of being involved in the mission of Christ. Jesus came to the beach where Peter and his seven friends worked hard and didn't catch any fish. Jesus asked them to caste their net at the right side of the boat. When they did it, they caught 153 large fish. It was a pure miracle. Jesus showed that he is able to provide their needs and bless them. He invited everyone for having breakfast at the beach. After finishing breakfast, he had a private conversation with Peter to restore his broken heart full of hurt because of his guilt of denying Jesus three time. Jesus didn't rebuke Peter but restored his love towards him by asking same question three times: 'Do you love me more than these? Three times Peter responded: You know that I love you. Third time, Peter was grieved because he remembered that he had denied Jesus. This is how Jesus deals with our broken and hurting hearts. He brings fire of love in our hearts by forgiving us and filling us with the assurance of his love. Jesus asked Peter to be involved in his mission of feeding and taking care of his people like a shepherd feeds and care for his lambs and sheep. In order for us to be involved in the mission, we need to have supreme love for Jesus. That means we should love Jesus more than anything in the world. Secondly, we need to provide superb service to our master Jesus Christ and his people by giving spiritual nourishment and care. Thirdly, we need to have sincere trust in Jesus for following him throughout our lives. We shouldn't be bothered about other's future and following, we need to focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. It is so easy to look at other Christians and feel discouraged because they are not following Jesus faithfully. We should not turn back to the past. We should move forward in our faith. We should have a strong determination offor not turning back. The old hymn that we sing during our Baptism when we make a commitment that we will follow Jesus no matter whatever happens, should be applied everyday of our lives. Then we can continue to sing with joy and commitment: 'I have decided to follow Jesus, No turning back, no turning back.' Let us have this desire in us that we may love Jesus supremely, serve superbly and follow him sincerely all the days of our lives. May the Lord bless and encourage you with this message! Amen!