The Campfire



As a child I remember having campfires with my family. We would have them in the evenings on the edge of Lake Michigan. All and all it was a good family time. We roasted hotdogs and marshmallows.

My mom and my brother would carefully hold their marshmallows strategically away from the flame: to toast them to a beautiful golden brown. They would slowly turn the sticks on which the marshmallows were dangling. and they would take care to be certain that each marshmallow was toasted the same delicate brown all over.

Now my father and I were impulsive we would just take the marshmallows and the sticks and just jam the marshmallows two or three at a time onto the stick. Then we would thrust them into the center of the flame, then they would catch on fire and we would frantically wave them to put the fire out.

We were so impulsive we never took time to toast them or to even let them cool off we would just eat them burnt to the point of even scorching our lips!! Now that was impulsive.
This brings to mind another impulsive person, and another campfire in fact two different campfires. Of course I’m referring to Peter.

We’re going start this teaching in where Jesus appeared yet once again to seven of the disciples.

John 21:1-3
Later Jesus appeared once again to them beside the sea of Galilee this is how it happened several of the disciples were there. Simon Peter, Thomas nicknamed the twin, Nathaniel from Cana of Galilee the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples. Simon Peter said I’m going fishing! We’ll go with you they said. So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

You see Peter was once again thinking about himself first not what he had learned from Jesus. Jesus had said go into Galilee and there you shall see me. Jesus had encouraged them to wait for his return. But Peter either didn’t want to wait or no longer believed. But regardless either way he just wanted to do it his own way. The other disciples all said: we will go with you. So they all went out together in the boat but they caught nothing again that night

The fact that they caught nothing indicates that we can’t expect God to bless us when we go off on our own and do something contrary to what the word has told us to do.
He won’t bless us when we run unsent with our own agenda burning in our hearts. For the word says without me ye can do nothing. At this time the other disciples lacking direction were eager to follow Peter who was just a man. They had forgotten that they were told to follow God first. You see when you get away from the Word and don’t spend time with the Word you tend to drift back to you once were.

Now for just a moment imagine Peter standing on the bow of that boat at daybreak. His mind returning to another time when he had fished all night and had caught nothing.

How he long for those days with Jesus those wonderful days. Where did they go he wondered? A salty tear trickled down his face: what was it all for anyway, he wondered? Did not Jesus promised to return? So where was the Word? Maybe he should have waited longer! Oh how he longed to be spreading the Word alongside Jesus, the Word, once again.

But Peter had his doubts after all Jesus had died on the cross just like all the other, criminal’s maybe he was not the Son of God after all.

Verse 4 at dawn Jesus was standing on the beach but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus.

How many times in our lives as Jesus been right here and we failed to recognize him? He was right on the scene and we have not seen him, recognized him or even looked for him to be there.

Verse 5 he called out fellows, have you caught any fish?
No, they replied.

Jesus was gently showing them that on their own they could do nothing. Before he gives us an abundant supply which is coming for sure, He wants us to be conscious of our own emptiness, and our own inept ability. We are to renew our minds to Kingdom living and the provision of the King.

Matthew 6:33 but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you.

Things include: fish, things include being fishers of men; things include your daily provision now. Things include health, peace and prosperity. Jesus knew that they had not caught any fish he was just showing them that without him they could not succeed because they had just given up and went back to their old life style and their own way of seeking provision.

They had gone back to trusting themselves rather than trusting the Word of God to supply all of their needs.

Verse 6 then He said throw out your net on the right side of the boat and then you will catch some fish.

So they did, but they couldn’t pull in the net because there was so many fish in it!

The word always speaks of abundance prosperity and overflowing success. Jesus the Word didn’t point out that they were fishing on the wrong side of the boat or the wrong way. We know the word is always affirmative giving direction and encouragement.

Verse 7 Then the disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter it’s the Lord. When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord he put on his tunic for he had stripped for work and he jumped into the water and swam toward the shore,

Peter was stripped for work for toil: with the sweat of his brow. he was living his life under the curse of the law once again. His faith was gone.Once before when his faith was high he was so eager and so bold that he tried to get Jesus by walking on water just at the sound of Jesus saying: come.

But this time he had heard about Jesus from one of the other disciples. This disciple said that Jesus was there but Peter was still in doubt as he jumped in the water and swam there under his own power. Once again he had forgotten that he had actually walked on the water to the Word.

You see this time Jesus drew him by his presence, by his power. Sometimes we don’t actually have to hear the word we just have to be in his presence and he draws us to Him.

As Peter swam away from the boat: He left behind a boat full of fish which was provision from the world.

He was heading directly towards Jesus and revelation was now returning! He now was understanding once again that Jesus was the true source.

Verse 8 the other disciples in the boat pulled the overloaded net to the shore for they were only about 100 yards from land.

You see the other disciples were still concentrating on keeping that provision that the world had just supplied for them.They wanted to be sure that they didn’t lose any of the fish that they had just obtained, their eyes had not yet been opened.

Verse 9 when they got there they found breakfast waiting for them fish cooking over a charcoal fire and some bread.

Even when you turn your back on Jesus: He will never leave you, He will never forsake you but He will be there waiting for you. In fact the word tells us that He will prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies so he’s always preparing he’s always making ready for our return.

What enemies you say did the disciples have? Their enemies were they the Roman, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the occultists, and the Satanists. Oh there were many, many more enemies and Jesus was showing them that he will always be there for them and He will always provide all of their needs.

It’s just like enemies we have: the enemy of death, the enemy of sickness, the enemy of betrayal and on and on.
Jesus is there with the answer He’s there with the reward He is there with the provision He’s there with the table that He has already prepared for us. You see even when the disciples were doing secular things and they had forgotten about Jesus: He was still there waiting.

John 14:1-3 in my father’s house there are many mansions it were not so I would not have told you. I go there to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that were I am the may be also.

Verse10 bring some of the fish that you’ve caught Jesus said. Simon Peter went to the boat and dragged the net of fish from the shore there were hundred and 153 large fish yet the net had not torn.

When they listen to the word their prosperity was large, huge but the enemy could not break the net so they were able to claim their prosperity with nothing broken, nothing missing. After receiving the Word, they received the total harvest.

Verse 12 and have some breakfast Jesus said. The disciple dared not ask who was because they knew it was the Lord.

They were ashamed.

They had been caught in their unbelief in the presence of Jesus. Peter was especially affect. He remembered the last time he had seen Jesus. It was a cold night at the trial. Peter was standing outside of the city gates warming his hands by the fire by the campfire.

Jesus had told Peter that he would deny him three times before the cock crew.

Matthew 26:69-75 Now Peter sat without the palace and a damsel came to him saying thou was with Jesus of Galilee,
but he denied before them all, saying I know not what they sayeth. And when he had gone out onto the porch another maiden saw him and said this fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth, and again he denied it with an oath: I do not know that man. and after a while, they came unto him that had stood by and they said to him surely the art one of them for thy speech betrayed thee, and Peter began to curse and swear. I know not the man and immediately the cock crew
and Peter remembered the word of Jesus: which said before the cock crows thou shall deny me thrice and he went out and wept bitterly.

Peter remembered this and he remembered that he had done it by another campfire. Now here he sat with Jesus around this beautiful campfire and that memory was burning hot in his heart.

That campfire: that first campfire was the campfire of denial and betrayal. Peter in his denial just turned back to his former life as a fisherman.

Then Jesus drew him-back to a campfire.

How could Jesus forgive him how could Jesus loved him after such a blatant betrayal?

Verse 13 then Jesus served them bread and fish this was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since been raised from the dead.

They ate and fellowshipped once again. I’m sure Peter was just awestruck. Jesus turned Peter and said hey Peter what’s on your mind? Master I was remembering once before when you came into Caesarea Philippi and asked the disciples who do people say that I am? And some of them said you are John the Baptist some of whom said you are a Elisha and one said one of the prophets and you said to us who do you say I am?

And I Simon Peter said thou art the Christ the son of the living God, and you replied to me and said blessed are thou Simon bar Jonah because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father which is in heaven.

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Then Peter replied with a loud loving bold voice my God, my Lord, thou art the Christ the son of the living God yesterday, today and forever amen.

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