Riverlawn Blog

Follow Jesus. Be Changed By Jesus. Commit To The Mission Of Jesus.



Captured within John’s gospel there is a short passage of the third time that Christ revealed Himself to His disciples following His resurrection. If we’re not careful, we’ll read over it, chalk it up as another resurrection appearance, and move on. And yet, within this moment, within this story there is a gracious reminder about the importance of drawing near to Jesus.

The disciples have returned to the sea and have returned to their fishing ways. They’ve been out all night with no luck, surely this doesn’t bode well for professional fisherman. And after a long night of fishing, as dawn is beginning to break, there is Jesus standing on the shore, calling to them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. Instant reward at their obedience, more than 150 large fish filling their nets! And then, recognition. Recognition that this isn’t some hermit on the sea shore calling out fishing advice; this is the Lord, this is the One who rose from the dead! Without hesitation, Simon Peter jumps into action and then jumps into the water, swimming for shore. As Pastor Jeff said Sunday, “it’s a beautiful picture of the passionate response of Peter to leave behind the fish and not worry about the boat in his pursuit of Jesus.” Peter wasn’t concerned about the things of this life, he knew that he needed to be near to His Lord and Savior.

What a great reminder for you and I about how we should pursue a relationship with Jesus! Peter’s devotion, his energy, his passion are all admirable traits for sure but those things are less important than the fuel that drove Peter, nearness to Jesus. Being near to Jesus should be our motivation of a gospel-centered, Christ-filled life. We don’t walk in obedience or produce fruit or work in vain attempts to earn our salvation or God’s favor. We live out of an overflow of drawing near to the One who saved our souls. Nearness to Jesus is of vital importance is the example we can take away from Peter. There’s an old hymn that calls to mind this great gospel truth. “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” points us towards this story, and other accounts throughout John’s gospel, in which we are invited to draw near to Jesus.

“I am weak, but Thou art strong. Jesus, keep me from all wrong.

I’ll be satisfied as long as I walk, let me walk closer to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee. Grant it, Jesus, is my plea.

Daily walking close to Thee. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.


Through this world of toil and snares. If I falter, Lord, who cares.

Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee. Grant it, Jesus, is my plea.

Daily walking close to Thee. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

This week, make it your aim to draw close to Jesus. Dive into the Word, dig deeper into the community of faith around you, surround yourself with the goodness of God’s presence in every avenue of your week. Make it your goal, in following the example of Peter, to let nothing get in the way of nearness to your Lord. And as you rest in His presence, as you peer upon His wondrous face, as you worship in the house of your Savior, seek obedience to His Word and fruit for His Kingdom.

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