I’m thinking I should get a new boat. Not that there’s anything wrong with this one. I’ve had some pretty awesome experiences with Jesus on this boat. But now, my Lord is … dead. I never thought it would happen. Not like this.
I remember the first time Jesus noticed me. It was about three years ago. I was on this same boat, cleaning my fishing nets. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men!” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but I was ready to find out. I knew that there was something different about him, and it was something I wanted, even longed for.
He loved people, more than he loved himself, it seems. I a while back, The Twelve, as we’re sometimes called, were with Jesus by the Sea of Galilee. We spent most of that day being followed by throngs of people, many of them wanting to be healed. And Jesus healed a lot of people that day. We tried to get away to a mountainside, just to get some rest from all the activity. That didn’t last long. Next thing we know, there must have been at least 5,000 people starting to settle on the mountainside around us. So, what does Jesus do next? He asks us where we can get food for the crowd. I’m stunned. What is this? The world’s biggest picnic? I don’t say anything. Philip tells him that even if there were a market close by, it would cost eight months salary to even begin to feed them, and we just don’t have that kind of money on us. My brother Andrew points to a kid in the front. “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Well, you’ve probably heard the rest of the story. It really was the World’s Biggest Picnic!
That wasn’t the only time Jesus did the “impossible.” I don’t even think the word was in his vocabulary. He did unheard of things like walking on water, and turning water into wine at a big wedding. He changed a lot of people‘s lives. And I’ll never forget the time he took John, James and me to the mountaintop, and the three of us stood and watched while Jesus actually had a conversation with Moses and Elijah! That moment was so incredible, I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about it to this day!
He had a kind of “sixth sense” about him. He kept talking about things that were to come, foretelling the future. Looking back at this past week, he seemed to be acting kind of strange. It’s as if he knew all along what would happen. Especially at dinner in the Upper Room the other night. He predicted who would betray him. He knew he would be executed. And, this one I still find hard to believe. He even knew that I would deny him -- three times -- before morning! I said I would die for him. And I turned my back on him. I feel so ashamed.
I believe that Jesus was the Son of God. I’ve seen to much to believe otherwise. I can't imagine going back to my life the way it was before I met him.
I only wish he were still alive so I could tell him how sorry I am for not taking a stand for him.