No Need To Be Shy

As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him…and jumped into the water.  John 21:7

Peter was the most impetuous of all the disciples.  He had a big heart, expressed himself with passion, and was not afraid to act impulsively.  Once John told Peter that Jesus was on shore waiting, Peter threw himself into the sea to get there first.  This fits Peter’s personality profile yet I’m amazed at his boldness.  After all, it had only been a short while since he had betrayed Jesus.

How did Peter know that the relationship was intact?  How could he be so sure that Jesus would be pleased to see him?  Peter had never read the New Testament passages on grace.  It hadn’t been written yet.  He was flying by the seat of his pants.  He had no theological degree.  He just knew Jesus.  That was all.  That was enough.

Being forgiven with full restoration is a rare thing in this world.  So rare that we don’t expect it.  If we betray someone severely enough, we never dare hope to gain their full trust again.  We hang back, afraid to approach the one we wronged with any sense of confidence.  We’re constantly reading their facial expressions and body language to discern where we stand.  We sense their ambivalence and wait from a distance.

When Jesus declared us forgiven, he put our sins behind his back.  He will never bring them out again to accuse us.  He won’t remind us of what we’ve done.  We can approach him as Peter did.  Whether we throw ourselves into the sea or run across the threshold into his embrace, we can be assured of a passionate and happy reunion.

I always know where I stand with you, Lord.  Thank you for such extravagant forgiveness.

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