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From Peter's standpoint, I have always interpreted his comment in John 21:3 merely as an intention on his part to engage in activity with which he was familiar as a means of not only renewing himself after the momentous events of the preceding days, but also of having time to process and meditate on the implications of the fact of Jesus' resurrection, and of His new resurrected nature and status for what God now expected the apostles to do in order to carry on the will of God and the purpose for which Jesus had called them. I think that this would have been especially crucial for Peter, because he would doubtless still have been thinking about his three denials of knowing Jesus (despite Jesus' explicit prediction after the Last Supper of Peter's coming denials, and Peter's sincere but pride-filled response that he would die before denying Jesus, with which all the other apostles (except Judas, who was by then not present) had agreed (Matthew 26:35)). And, of course, as it turned out, the risen Jesus met the apostles anyway, after they had fished all night but not caught anything. His subsequent conversation with Peter, in which Peter was grieved still further by Jesus asking him three times (once for each of Peter's denials) if Peter loved Him, was a key part of Peter's healing in preparation for assuming the role that Peter would play as the most prominent of the apostles in the establishment of the early Church following Jesus' ascension. So, even without realizing it, Peter's desire to go fishing had been part of God's will for that very purpose, just as God can use casual decisions that we make or circumstances that we encounter to prepare us to carry out His ultimate will.
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