“Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.”— John 21:7
Love will see most quickly. James was there, full of practical commonsense; Thomas also, who doubted, but afterwards believed; Peter, who wanted to die with Him, but afterwards denied Him; and the rest of them; but it was John whom Jesus loved, and who afterwards became the Apostle of Love, that first recognised the Master, whether by the intonation of His Voice, or the thoughtfulness of His inquiry, or the readiness of His help, does not appear. The intuitions of love are as sure as they are swift. Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish. None of these things will help as much when we come to that last hour. But Love will never fail, and those who have loved will see most quickly, most certainly, most satisfyingly.
It is Love that unites us, and we believe that Jesus is as eager for the hour to come when we shall be with Him where He is, as we are to get there. Do you not believe that the friend who has come to the landing-stage to greet you, after a long voyage, is even more eager than you are to see that breadth of water dwindle from miles to furlongs and furlongs to yards? Do you think that Peter thought the water cold, when he plunged in, or that he would spoil his fisher’s coat? Will not the chill of the river be forgotten when at last we see Jesus just beyond?
In that fair morning we shall recognise and help each other. The disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Peter, “It is the Lord,” and gave him the preference! Surely John would have been excused by all the rest, if he had immediately cast himself into the sea and had met Jesus first! But no! He knew how Peter had suffered, how he longed for the chance to do something to obliterate the past, how he would prize the few extra moments of private fellowship; and so he said, “It is the Lord,” knowing full well what an effect would be produced on his impulsive friend.
That probably is the etiquette of Heaven! We sometimes suppose that there will be such a throng there, that we shall not be able to get near the Lord. But the greatest saints will always be the humblest and the kindest. They will come to the outer ranks, where some of us may have to stand, and say, “Come, take my place!” John will say to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
Impart unto me, O God, I pray Thee, the spirit of Thy Love, that I may be more anxious to give than to receive, more eager to understand than to be understood, more thoughtful for others, more forgetful of myself. Amen. –F. B. Meyer