Another Fire

Another Fire

“When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:9-12).

It would have been impossible for these disciple/fishermen, working as they were on the water all night, to have imagined that in just a few hours they be sitting with their crucified and risen Lord again around a breakfast fire.

The mind strains to imagine all that happened there.

We know some things, of course because John recorded it for us. It takes up most of the 21 chapter of his Gospel. First they didn’t recognize Him, then they did. Peter swam to shore, the rest followed in the boat. The second miracle catch – from having caught nothing at all to a massive haul of 153 LARGE fish. The food and fellowship.

Then came the deep stuff: the questions for Peter.

You see, it hadn’t been that long ago that Peter sat beside another fire, another charcoal fire.

“The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself … Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed” (John 18:17-18, 25-27).

So now, at breakfast with Jesus, the Lord looks him in the eye and asks three times …

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

It’s in these quiet times that God convicts us, holds us accountable, but only so He might restore us again!

He calls us to repentance. He makes our paths straight. He invites us to acknowledge our wanderings, and even our internal hypocrisies. Many is the time – at breakfast with Jesus – in the quiet – that I’ve heard Him ask,

“Gene, do you love me?”

“Do you really love Me?”

And I’ve said, “I do, Lord, I love you with all my heart.”

And I’ve felt Him say, “Then why is your heart so often so far from Me?”

“Why are you wandering?”

“Why have you been distracted?

Do you know what happens at breakfast with Jesus? He makes us more like Him, if we’ll only come and listen.

He points out those areas of our lives where we haven’t been trusting Him.

And He reminds us that if we’ll trust in Him with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding, that He will make our paths straight.

He reminds us to set no wicked thing before our eyes.

He reminds us that we need to make a covenant with our eyes.

He reminds us that we’re His, and that all the shiny things that this world has to offer will never make us happy – they’ll only make us busy.

“Gene, do you love me?”

“Do you really love Me?”

Yeah, it’s awkward. But it’s so cathartic, cleansing to find yourself on the other side of that conversation. And, when it’s all said and done, sitting with Jesus at this fire, may give you the strength to remain faithful when you find yourself beside another fire.


To consider …

  • What do these two fires mean to you?

Have you sat at the fire with Jesus for breakfast?

Have you warmed yourself at some other fire where your faith was questioned?

How did you fare?

  • Consider these powerful and piercing words spoken by our Lord: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you … Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me” (John 14:15-17, 21-24).

Now, please read those words again, more carefully – and again, if you think you should.

Now, how you would answer the question, “(Your name), do you love Me?”



  1. I am grateful that Peter was one of the 12… for his impulsiveness, for his bluster, for his impassioned feelings and mostly,for his failures. They closely mirror my own shortcomings. I find immeasurable hope in the fact that the Lord of the universe sought Peter out. He singled him out for restoration. Peter was a marked (for forgiveness) man. Jesus dined with him on purpose, and the menu had one thing on it: RESTORATION! Uncomfortable,yes. Worthwhile, absolutely. Confession and repentance will never be easy, yet they’ll always be vital to our intimate fellowship. I am basking in the gratitude of knowing I am no different than Peter on my “best” day. Still, I know my Lord loves me no less. That’s a roaring fire I want to warm myself by every day until I see Him face to face.


  3. David Medeiros : March 21, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Spending those intimate moments at breakfast has to involve the need for cleansing before His holiness and majesty.If we are going to hear from the Lord and stay focused so we continue moving forward in the discipleship process, all barriers have to be removed.This kind of prayer combined with applying the Word of God, moves the forces of heaven on our behalf and prepares us for that pruning process in John 15:1-8 and conforming process in Romans 8:29. This is absolutely vital and necessary if the Holy Spirit’s power will be operating to please and glorify the Lord. I’m drawn to Hebrews 4:12, ” For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit,of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

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