FTER the disciples had seen the risen Lord (John 21:14), Peter led a handful of them on an all-night fishing trip. Of course, there is nothing at all wrong with fishing. However, Jesus had originally called Peter out of his fishing boats. Peter had been commissioned to fish for men. Miraculously, their fishing trip was fruitless – until Christ intervened (John 21:6). Yet, when Jesus did step in to change their luck, Peter's reaction was telling (John 21:7). He was evidently ashamed of how Jesus had found him, that is, of what he was doing. But Jesus certainly did show compassion toward Peter and his chums. Far from maintaining some sort of pious spiritual aloofness, Jesus cooked a breakfast of bread and fish for His disciples (John 21:9).
The last time Jesus had given bread to His disciples, it had been the unleavened bread of the Passover. Things were different now. The price of redemption had been paid. Now it was time to commission the disciples for their mission. Here on the shoreline very early in the morning, Jesus confronted Peter (specifically) with his inadequacy. It is the familiar, "Peter, do you love me?" passage. Most Christians are familiar with the fact that, during this interchange, Peter used a less intense word for love than Jesus did. Perhaps Peter was finally confessing his own weakness. The thing that is more important than that though is the fact that Jesus called on Peter to be a feeder of His lambs. And again, Jesus said to him, "Follow me!" (John 21:19).