John 21: 1 – 14 Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish
Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. ‘I’m going out to fish,’ Simon Peter told them, and they said, ‘We’ll go with you.’ So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’
‘No,’ they answered.
He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment round him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred metres. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
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It was no ghost that the disciples saw, no vision conjured up by grief and shock. This was a person cooking fish over a fire on the beach, a man who served bread and fish to the disciples. They saw him, they heard him, they felt and tasted the food that he handed to them. He was real and they recognised him as their Lord.
This episode has lessons we can learn.
- If we start an enterprise without Jesus, it’s not going to help accomplish God’s work. We need to know what he wants us to be doing.
- We can work as hard as we like, but without Jesus’ directions we won’t accomplish God’s work. We need to know how Jesus wants us to be working.
- Jesus’ voice is often soft. It can be hard to recognise. We need to practise listening, in prayer and in obedience. We need to allow what we think Jesus is saying to actually directly affect what we do. We have to trust him to show us whether it’s right or wrong.
If we faithfully listen, pray and act on what we are told, we can work miracles in doing God’s work.
Thank you for the presence of the Holy Spirit to help us to hear and understand what Jesus is saying. Please help me to serve you diligently.
In Jesus’ name, Amen