Day 55: The Best Breakfast of All Time

As Peter cast his net into the Sea of Galilee, he was at the lowest point of his life. 

 

Just days earlier, he’d sworn his allegiance to Jesus, even to the point of death (John 13:37). But after Jesus was arrested, Peter denied even knowing Him three times (John 18:15-18; 25-27).

 

Now Jesus was dead, and Peter’s betrayal hung heavy over his spirit.

 

But then there was a voice from the beach. “Throw your net on the right side of the boat,” an unidentified stranger instructed Peter and several other disciples who were in the boat with him.

 

They did so, and soon their net was so full of fish they couldn’t pull it into the boat. 

 

John identified the helpful visitor first: “It is the Lord!” In his excitement, Peter dove into the water and booked it for shore. His treachery was momentarily forgotten; he just had to get to Jesus as fast as possible.

 

And when he hauled himself on shore, he found Jesus cooking breakfast with a charcoal fire. 

 

There are two very significant elements to Jesus’ act. Let’s break them down:

 

First, He chose to cook breakfast for the disciples. Cooking a meal is usually a loving act reserved for people you care for. Recall that the last time Jesus was with the disciples, all but John deserted Him in His time of need (Mark 14:50). The disciples deserved a harsh talking to, yet Jesus offered them a free meal. His grace knows no bounds.

 

But more importantly, we need to examine the only other time in the Bible the word “charcoal” is mentioned: Peter denied his Savior in a courtyard while huddled around a charcoal fire.

 

A charcoal fire casts a rich, smoky aroma; anyone who’s been around one immediately recognizes its scent. There’s no doubt Peter was transported back to his worst moment the instant the smoke hit his nostrils.

 

But while I think Jesus purposely cooked with charcoal, He didn’t do so to taunt or reprimand Peter. He returned His disciple to His betrayal mentally, but He offered no rebuke. Rather, He served breakfast: this was a peace offering, an olive branch to let Peter know that he was forgiven. 

 

Peter hung Jesus out to dry, and Jesus didn’t care. He opened His arms to Peter. He said, “Remember how you betrayed me? I don’t care. I love you. Now get over here and have some breakfast.”

 

What a God we serve!

 

Jesus doesn’t care about what you’ve done. You’re a human. You’ve sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). You deserve an eternity in hell. 

 

Jesus doesn’t care.

 

He hung on a cross for you. He took nails in His flesh for you. He wore a crown of thorns for you.

And yet, He’ll still cook breakfast for you.

 

Nothing you do can separate you from the love of Jesus because it’s not about what you do. It’s about what He did. No matter how you betray or deny Him, He’ll always be waiting on the beach with a blessing.

 

Only this gift is far more than fish; it’s eternal life. 

 

I can only imagine the guilt and shame Peter felt as he chowed down next to the God he’d betrayed just a few days earlier, yet also the hope he felt. Jesus was willing to forgive Peter’s transgressions, and Peter now had a new lease on life. His days of denying were gone; now he would be the rock Jesus predicted he would be (Matthew 16:18).

 

Now THAT is a breakfast you’ll never forget.