November 20, 2019
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for joining us in prayer for prodigals and for revival today.
John twenty-one is a beautiful chapter that tells of an unforgettable encounter the disciples had with Jesus.
It wasn’t just any day, it was an amazingly incredible day for Simon Peter and six of his close friends and fellow followers of Jesus. They had just seen the wounds in their Savior’s hands and heard His words of peace in their secret room. The same man who led them for three years, who hung and died such a cruel death, who was buried so carefully, yet now was alive and they had seen Him.
Yet as they talked late into the night, an internal struggle was filling Peter’s mind with fear and anxiety as he remembered back to how he had betrayed his Lord just before the crucifixion. That dreaded scene had played a thousand times in his mind — the insistent maid, the sparkling fire, the strong words of denial, the tender, loving look of Jesus, and then the flowing of hot, bitter tears. And of course, the regret, the guilt, the shame, the deep ache inside that he could not escape from. What a disaster! His feelings of shame and self-condemnation wrestled with his joy at seeing his risen Lord.
Finally, in the early hours of the morning, Simon Peter decided that a little work would help him, or at the very least distract him from the tumult of emotions. Joining him, the others jumped into his boat and headed off to their favorite fishing spot. The water, the wind, the smells and sounds of the fishing boat were all very refreshing and mind-clearing. As the sweat soaked their clothes and sky began to brighten in the east, they kept fishing, but the boat was still empty. No fish. As they neared the shore they saw a man who called to them, “Fellows, have you any fish?”
“Nothing,” they said.
“Just throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will get some,” He advised.
They were quick to respond and soon their net began to feel heavier and heavier. Within moments it was full and they couldn’t haul it in because of the large catch. (One hundred and fifty-three is the number they later counted. Wow!)
When they recognized the man on the shore giving instructions, Simon jumped into the water and headed for shore. He wasn’t going to let anything stop him.
The smell of freshly fried fish was filling the air. (Fish in the morning is such a God thing, I mean, a good thing!) These were fish that Jesus had caught, cleaned, and cooked. It was all waiting for them, but there weren’t enough for the eight of them. So He said, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
Just think about that! Why did Jesus do this? He cooked some, but not enough, and then asked them to share what He enabled them to catch a few moments prior. But why? He could have easily made a breakfast without the help of disciples, but He chose not to.
It brings us to the essence of our lives. It is the purpose and desire of our God and Savior to “do life” with us. This is what He wants and it is what we need. Salvation’s day was the start, but only the start. He brings us close to Himself to share what He has and graciously asks us to share with Him and others what we have. Ultimately, it all came from Him. Whether it was the fish He caught personally, or what he corralled into their nets. But that’s not the point, He wanted them to share what they had gotten with what He had gotten. Together they sat, together they ate, together they talked, and together they enjoyed what God had provided.
There were a lot of amazing things that happened at that breakfast meal, which I will talk about next time, but for now, just picture yourself sitting there with these disciples, sharing a meal with Jesus. You take a piece of the fish He caught, and then He takes a little of the fish you caught, and together you share life — you talk about your failures, your weaknesses, your sins, your shortcomings, your hurts, your desires, and He listens. He is a good listener, and then He talks about how you are forgiven and cleansed, and how much He loves you, and your heart is filled with humble gratitude.
Whatever else you do, don’t miss breakfast with Jesus!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel