40 Days of JohnDay 39: John 21:1-14
Jesus appears to the disciples three times after He is raised from the dead. We get to read the third appearance in today's reading. It involves a miraculous catch of fish and several of the disciples.
Simon Peter goes fishing with his buddies, and they don't catch a single fish. Then, Jesus joins them, and stands on the shore talking to them. They don't recognize Him at first. He gives Simon Peter direct and specific instruction to go back out fishing and try again. Peter listens. He realizes it's Jesus talking to Him. And the next thing you know, their net is so full of fish they can barely carry it to shore.
I love this story because Jesus shows us who He is and how He works.
1. Jesus meets us where we are, as our closest friend.
This could be a guys night out for all we know. The disciples are fishing. It's not usually a holy experience, but it becomes one with Jesus there.
Jesus, himself, calls and claims us as His friends. We see it in this story, and it's not because we are "perfect" friends to Jesus. It's by His infinite supply of grace that is forever at work in our lives. So, as we think about our faith, we need to think of Jesus as our friend who is always there for us.
3. Jesus instruction and direction makes all the difference in our lives.
As Jesus calls and claims us friends, He also sees us, knows our issues, and gives us direct instruction- and sometimes that means doing what we've already done, but with Jesus in our hearts and minds. Jesus makes our "nets full", not our own abilities.
4. Sometimes, because of Jesus' divine power, so much bigger than we are, we don't recognize Him in the world.
Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. And in the busyness of the world, we can miss His presence if we don't look and listen carefully. He can be standing among us, talking to us at any time, anywhere.
5. Jesus prepares and provides for us in abundance, and He invites us to share what He provides.
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.
I noticed for the for the first time in my reading today that Jesus has prepared ahead of time for His friends, and they didn't even know it. There was a fire ready for them when they returned to shore, fish and bread waiting on them. Yet, in Jesus' invitation to have breakfast together, Jesus asks Peter to share some of the fish they caught too.
I think our invitation is the same.
Jesus calls us, instructs us, prepares for us ahead of time, gathers us, and invites us to share what He provides.
So during this season of advent, in light of Jesus' upcoming birthday celebration, how might Jesus be inviting us to gather with Him and share the blessings He provides us? How might this story speak to my life and to your life?
A prayer for today-
Thank You for sending Jesus to show us how You love us and to give us glimpses of Your grace and Your glory. Thank you, Lord, for all the ways You provide for me and nourish me with Your abundant love.
Help me remember that You are the One who makes my life full, that by Your grace, my life is full of blessings.
I pray for Your guidance Lord in sharing all that I have with others. Show me how and where to gather as Your friends. Open my heart to sharing Your blessings with those in my life who need it the most.
Be with me, please Father, and use me for Your glory as I give gifts this holiday season and prepare meals.
I pray for all those whose nets are empty today. Fill them, Lord, with Your hope, Your peace, and Your grace. May they find a friend in You.
In Jesus' name I pray,
Grace and peace,
*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project. Click here to read more.