Jesus looked long into the tear-stained eyes of His friend Pete. «Do you love Me?» He asked. The fisher nodded, guilt weighing heavily on his shoulders. «Yes.» The Messiah asked the question again and again. Each time Pete responded with a humble, heartbreaking «Yes.» Then Jesus said something that Pete understood immediately. In words filled with forgiveness and comfort, the Messiah invited, «Pete, feed My sheep.»
The fisher grabbed his friend in a big bear hug. He was forgiven, he knew it! Jesus had just asked him to get back to work, to continue the ministry he’d started three years ago when he’d first joined the Messiah’s band of disciples. Oh, how happy he was! How good it felt to know that his Master didn’t hold grudges, didn’t condemn his human mistakes, didn’t punish those who deserved to be punished. Pete’s newfound hope came from the realization that in spite of his error in judgment and his rough, sometimes sinful, ways, Jesus had forgiven him.
Right then and there Pete, the catcher of fish, determined to change his life fully so he could become Pete, the fisher of men.
Did he succeed? The Bible says that one day Pete preached a sermon that converted three thousand people. People carried sick men and women, boys and girls, many miles to his house, and he healed them all! Once when he was in jail, an angel got him out. And when Dorcas, a kind woman, died, Pete used the power of God to bring her back to life.
Pete lived a full, useful, and successful life. Why? Because he left his nets and followed Jesus.