SwindollStudyBible-John - Page 54



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TABGHA
Starting Over
with God
JOHN 21
Capernaum
Tabgha
Mediterranean
Sea
Nazareth
Sea of
Galilee
Jordan
River
ISRAEL
Hebron
Jerusalem
Bethlehem
Dead JORDAN
Sea
The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter was built on the shore of the
Sea of Galilee at the location where Jesus is traditionally thought
to have made breakfast for His disciples after His resurrection.
THE NEW TESTAMENT records that after Jesus’ resurrection, He met Peter and some
of the other disciples by the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-23). Tradition identifies the site as Tabgha, known as Heptapegon in Greek, a name that means “a place
of seven springs.” For centuries, fish have gathered at these springs. According to
tradition, the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter marks the spot in Tabgha where Jesus
reinstated Peter after his denial of Jesus during the trial in Jerusalem.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, beside these same w
­ aters—­near where the
Church of the Primacy of St. Peter stands t­oday—­an astonished Peter had fallen at
Jesus’ feet after hauling in a miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5:1-8). Now, three years
later, another miraculous catch occurred. Afterward, Jesus invited Peter and his
companions to enjoy a breakfast of broiled fish, which the Lord had cooked over a
charcoal fire. The Greek term for “charcoal fire” appears only one other time in the
­Bible—­in the scene in which Peter denies Christ (John 18:18; 21:9).
Starting over with God often begins with awkward reminders. The miraculous
catch. The charcoal fire. The roosters that would have crowed at sunrise. Peter had
denied Jesus three times, and three times the resurrected Christ asked Peter, “Do you
love me?”(John 21:15-17). When we start over after messing up, we need to remind
ourselves that the essence of our relationship with Jesus is found in His question to
Peter: “Do you love me?”
On occasion, we may feel like we’ve blown it so badly that God will toss us aside
and start over with somebody else. But Jesus showed ­Peter—­and ­us—­that instead of
starting over with someone else, God wants to start over with us.





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