Alistair Begg Devotional

Alistair Begg Devotional Recognition and Response

Recognition and Response

Recognition and Response

He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.

When the figure standing on the shore told the fishermen to cast their net on the other side of the boat—and when those fishermen saw that, having caught nothing all night, their nets were now bulging—they began to recognize who it was who had called out to them. Perhaps until now they had been supernaturally kept from identifying Him, like the men on the Emmaus road (Luke 24:16). Or perhaps the early morning mist or the distance from land to the boat was what kept them from fully recognizing their Savior.

Whichever was the case, it was not long before John, “that disciple whom Jesus loved,” realized who had spoken to them—and as soon as he shared his dawning insight with Peter, Peter launched into action. John’s recognition and Peter’s reaction make up a partnership that beautifully displays God’s intent for complementary diversity. God takes the Johns and the Peters of this world, and He puts them together so that they may be what they cannot be on their own. Throughout John’s Gospel, we see John display a contemplative, steady faith. When he and Peter visited the empty tomb, he considered the meaning of graveclothes lying empty where a body should have been, and he believed (John 20:8). His declaration from the boat likewise reveals a man who did not consider his circumstances hastily but rather pondered them and then confidently believed. When John realized it was Jesus before him, he made that known to Peter. Peter responded to John’s recognition as he often did: by taking faith-filled, impassioned, immediate action. You can just imagine him jumping into the water and then thrashing about, half swimming, half walking, straining desperately to get to his Savior on the shore. He showed no hesitation in getting out of the boat. His only thought was to reach his Lord.

Without the contemplative, insightful nature of Johns, the Peters of this world would burn out in feverish activity. Without the boldness of Peters, the Johns of this world would waste away in introspection. We all need partners to serve Christ well. Whether you are a Peter or a John, or whatever your particular temperament, God made you as you are to serve a purpose in His kingdom. Many of us spend too much time wishing we were more like others. Others of us have no problem recognizing our personality type or particular strengths, but we do have a problem with humbly using them in the service of others or with being patient with the ways of others who are different from us. What would change in how you see yourself and your purpose if you realized that every aspect of your temperament is God-given, and that God intends for you to use it not for your own ends but in obedience to Him, in the company of His people, for the glory of His Son?

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

One Body with Many Members

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves4 or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts,5 yet one body.

21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Open in Bible
4 12:13 Or servants; Greek bondservants
5 12:20 Or members; also verse 22

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotionals by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, 2022, The Good Book Company.

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