Theme: THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF HIS GRACE
DAY 31, Read. 2 Peter 1:1-11
PETER: A RECIPIENT OF GRACE
Key Verse: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
Twice, in Luke 5 and John 21, Peter had life changing encounters with Jesus by the Sea of Galilee. One was at the inception when Peter was called, and the second was after the resurrection of Jesus. Each step of these encounters with Jesus typifies what the grace of God represents. Through these encounters, Peter came face to face with the power of grace that placed him in a position to write to us about the grace of God. Let us keep in mind the fine distinction that Charles Ryrie made between mercy and grace as we explore the different stages of Peter’s encounter. Charles Ryrie said, “God shows both mercy and grace, but they are not the same. Mercy withholds a punishment we deserve; grace gives a blessing we don’t deserve.”
Peter’s encounter with Jesus is an elaboration of the definition of grace as God’s unmerited favour. In Luke 5, we see Jesus appear by the Sea of Galilee where there were two empty boats lying idle by the shore. He intentionally went for Peter’s boat and entered it and told him to launch out. Peter did not deserve to have Jesus enter into his boat, let alone preach from it to the multitude. But Jesus chose to do so for reasons best known to him. Here we see what grace is, it was Jesus that went for Peter and not Peter looking for Jesus. Is this not an example of what grace is? Salvation is God going after man; it has nothing to do with us. It was all at the initiative of Jesus.
Then, after preaching from Peter’s boat, Jesus decided to ask Peter to launch out into the deep and let down his net for a catch. Reluctantly, Peter obliged to launch out. When he obeyed the command, they caught a large amount of fish, which they alone could not drag to the shore. They quickly beckoned to their friends to come and help them. Thus, both Peter and his friends shared from a large windfall of fish that they did not toil for. This again is an example of grace. Grace is God blessing us beyond what we deserve. Peter and his friends got more than they bargained for.
After all these, Jesus said to Peter, “From now on you will catch men.” Jesus chose and called Peter. He made Peter a fisher of men from the multitude of people who were all around Galilee. This, again, is grace at work. Jesus chose and called Peter, not the other way around.
Now after the resurrection of Jesus, he appeared again to his disciples by the same Sea of Galilee where they had gone to fish. Before now, let us recall that Peter had denied Jesus three times contrary to the oath he swore that he would never deny him. However, when Jesus appeared to his disciples this time around, he stood on the shore but they did not recognise him. He then asked them to cast their nets on the right side. When they obeyed, they caught a large amount of fish. It was then one of them realized that it was Jesus performing another miracle for them. Jesus never referred to their earlier desertion and abandonment before his crucifixion. Rather, he prepared a meal and invited them to come and eat. Jesus forgave them without reproving and castigating them. Again, this is grace at the highest level. Because of grace God does not condemn us, but rather He loves us.
With all these experiences, Peter was in a position to write to us in his letters these words, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
PRAYER: Father, may the testimony of my life be filled with experiences of the wonders of your grace.