“Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 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. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
John 21:4-7 (context, vv. 3-8)
Perhaps this is the way Jesus comes to us. Every time he comes to the 12, it’s unexpectedly. Three times he visits them, and he never comes with a rebuke, or a harsh word of correction. In my mind at least, I certainly wouldn’t have let them off-the-hook that easy. I would’ve pounced on them.
They’re out fishing, following Peter’s decision. Peter again is blowing it. And Jesus, rather than a word of correction, shouts to them that they need to cast their net to the other side of their boat. He tells them, if they do that, they’ll catch more than they can handle.
This has come before, when they were first called to follow. It’s appropriate that what happened at the beginning, has now occurred at the end. Later, when they counted fish, they had a 153. And the nets, had not been torn.
John is the first to recognize Jesus, but Peter will be the first to the shore.
Peter instantly knows that this man is Jesus. He strips down to his underwear and jumps in. He must be with Jesus, the others are pulling in the net, and the boat is moving too slow. (Maybe Peter thought he would walk on water a second time?)
“When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
The passage points out that they worked till morning, and they probably were hungry. The Lord is aware, and he’s built a campfire for them. It’ll be fried fish and bread for breakfast.
There’s a sensitivity here, and a proactive kind of love that is really concerned about others. He’s aware of what others might need, and he finds a way to serve them. That’s precisely the way love works. (1 Cor. 13.)
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
The resurrected Jesus is still the humble servant. The disciples could’ve fallen on their faces, and that would’ve been entirely appropriate. This after all, is the risen Savior of the world. Perhaps Jesus is more approachable than we think? Perhaps?
“They ate the bread and fish that morning, I doubt not, in silent self- humiliation. Peter looked with tears in his eyes at that fire of coals, remembering how he stood and warmed himself when he denied his Master. Thomas stood there, wondering that he should have dared to ask such proofs of a fact most clear. All of them felt that they could shrink into nothing in his divine presence, since they had behaved so ill.”
Oh, how he loves you.