Two Charcoal Fires

In the Gospel of John I noticed a little detail about two charcoal fires.

The first of the two charcoal fires I'd known about for some time. It's that lovely and intimate moment when Jesus cooks breakfast for his disciples on the shore of Lake Galilee after his resurrection:

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 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. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
Again, it's a lovely scene. As you likely recall, it's around this charcoal fire where Jesus rehabilitates Peter. Jesus asks Peter three times, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter responds, three times, "Yes Lord, you know I love you." 

Commenters have long noted the sequence of three questions and how this parallels Peter's three denials of Jesus. Three denials are rehabilitated by three affirmations of love. 

But it's not just the number three that links the two accounts! The charcoal fire also connects them. The charcoal fire we find on the shore of Lake Galilee is not the first charcoal fire we encounter in the Gospel of John. There are two charcoal fires in John, and this is the first one we read about, soon after the arrest of Jesus: 
Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
Interestingly, it's not just that Jesus walks Peter through a sequence of three affirmations, reversing his three denials. Jesus brings Peter back to the symbolic location of his denial, back to a charcoal fire. But where the first fire was in the cold and dark, surrounded by hostility and danger, the second fire is warm, inviting, safe, and welcomes a coming dawn.

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