The Sea of Galilee, early morning, by the shore.
Peter was tired, but him and the boys had a good night fishing. Jesus had gone off to seek the Father in prayer and told them to remain in Galilee until he came back. They decided it would be a good idea to get some fishing in. They would spend a night or two fishing, sell the majority of it and use a small portion for meals and smoke some for the journey ahead. It was day two of fishing. They had made a fair share, more than enough for how they were all living now, enough to give out to the poor and still have enough for any incidentals that they might encounter as they followed Jesus from town to town. Peter closed his eyes, breathing in the cool air. The wind was gentle and fresh, he listened to early morning birds chirping and the sounds of the small waves gently crashing on the shoreline. Behind him, a two of the disciples were getting a small fire going as the rest of them pulled the catch to shore and began counting it up, except for John. John had gone back to the camp site to retrieve a few loaves of bread they had purchased last night for the morning’s meal.
The sun began to pour its light over the foothills and territories to the east.
The scent of wood-smoke and fish found Peter’s nostrils. He inhaled deeply again through his nose, feasting on the cool air, the smoke, the fish.
It was a good morning.
A few hours later, Peter was done inspecting and mending their nets and was now storing them back in the boats they had used when he noticed Jesus walking along the shore. Jesus was a couple hundred yards off still, but Peter raised his hand in greeting and Jesus did likewise. He’s back sooner that I expected, Peter thought to himself. By the time Peter had finished putting the nets back Jesus was only a few yards off.
“Jesus, good morning!”
Raising his hand in greeting to two of the disciples on approach from the camp site, Jesus asked: “Where are the boys?”
“Market. Well, most of them. We had a pretty good catch the last two days. The others are smoking fish back at camp.”
“Nice. I’m glad you guys had a good time in my absence. Hey, look, we need to make a few changes going forward as we travel from town to town while we minister.”
“Oh, ok! What do you want to do, Lord?”
“Well, as you know, I am here as the Messiah, and as such we need to be careful who we hang out with if I’m going to make this salvation thing work.”
“Oh…ok, really?” This was a change, they had been having a great time hanging out with people Peter wouldn’t have dared hang around with before Jesus showed up. Peter was slightly relieved at the thought of not having to worry about what other people were thinking.
“Yes, really. We need to have a holy image and not give off the wrong impression, you know? Please go tell the hooker and loan shark to take a hike. Bad company corrupts good character, after all.”
“Wait…what?! But they have been two of your most devoted followers!”
“Bad company corrupts good character, Peter. I can’t have their sin rubbing off on me and effecting my anointing and ability to minister.”
It didn’t make sense, cast out two of their own? “The Father told you this, yes?”
“Peter, look…” Jesus paused, looking upward as he often did. “O.K. Father.” Turning back to Peter. “You have submitted to my authority and covering, and I need you to do what I have asked of you even if it doesn’t make sense. However, the Father and I have seen your heart and for your sake, they will stay. However, you will be the direct contact, I must limit my time with them. From here on out, we need to create a discipleship program for anyone who wishes to follow us. We don’t want anyone falling into sin and making our ministry look bad. Now, after everyone is done at the market, pack up camp. We are headed south.”
About that time, the other two disciples made it to where Jesus and Peter were talking. Jesus greeted them quickly and then began to walk back the way he came.
“Where are you going?” Peter inquired.
Jesus responded, not even looking over his shoulder. “To a prayer meeting with some of the local Pharisees. I’ll be back, make sure everyone is ready!”