The man in the mirror was young and impulsive. If things got quiet, he would blurt out what everyone else was thinking but were too afraid to speak out. There was this one day that changed everything. The man in the mirror loved fishing. This day, his nets and those of his partners had come up empty. They stood ankle deep in the water cleaning nets. No fish! Reflections of themselves stared back at them from the water’s edge. What a bunch of losers.
Remember when your whole life was before you and threatening? Remember when life’s blank pages were intimidating? This day, these losers would get distracted by the man before them. Three years later they came back to these same waters. By that time, their reflection would have changed and so would have the men, especially the one called Peter.
What distracted him that day began with a commotion marching down the beach. A bunch of Jesus followers had hit the beach early with Jesus in the lead! The teaching that day would lead to a climatic life change. The fishermen were targeted for the ride of their life.
First, Jesus needed a platform from which to teach the crowd. He got in Peter’s boat so He could get into the Peter’s heart. He was strategic that way. The band of net cleaners listened. Their nets, like their lives, were void of their intended purpose and they knew it.
The teaching completed, Jesus turned to the young fisherman and challenged him to launch out again. ‘Throw your nets in the opposite direction from where you’ve been fishing’, he directed. The result? An unimaginable catch and an unexpected humility.
What they didn’t realize was that their obedience to launch out at Jesus’ words, qualified them to come with Him and ‘catch men’. They pack it in, left it all and followed Him. Mercy! No one saw this coming. Game changer. What a difference the right side of the boat made.
For three years they followed and served the Messiah. They had been faithful through the highs and lows all the way until His dying day. That’s the day their world stopped. Just when they thought they had it all together, everything fell apart.
So, they went fishing and they caught nothing. Jesus showed up early one morning frying fish on the shore. He called out for them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. Sounded familiar. Realizing the man on the beach was the Lord, Peter jumped in and swam ashore. Dripping wet and half naked he stood before Jesus. His free fall into denial? Undeniable!
Guilt had broken him, but Mercy had healed him. Mercy triumphed judgment. Mercy always does. The man before him looked through mercy’s eyes. Throwing our life on the side of mercy when all our life we’ve been thrown on the side of judgment, changes everything.
The man before us matters. The right side of the boat matters. Jesus looks at us through eyes of mercy, not judgment. What if we did? What if He alone is the man who stands before us?