“Come and have breakfast!”
That’s one of my favorite invitations in the New Testament. I love breakfast for one thing! But I love the image of the resurrected King Jesus sitting on the shore of the lake by the charcoal fire making breakfast for His disciples.
Over the next three days we’ll focus on John 21. Today we look at the miraculous catch of fish in John 21:1-14, with a focus on 9-14.
John 21:9–14 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.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.  This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. (ESV)
What can we learn from this passage?
After the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread in Jerusalem, the disciples returned to Galilee. Peter went fishing, and six other disciples went with him. I’m sure it was frustrating yet familiar to work all night yet catch nothing.
The story turns on the arrival of Jesus on the shore. At His command the disciples catch 153 fish, at a time when fish shouldn’t be there, and very much like the time when Jesus first calls many of those disciples. They realize it’s the Lord, and Peter launches himself out of the boat to get to Jesus.
We should be encouraged by this. Peter denied Jesus and wept bitterly over it. No doubt that terrible night still weighed heavily on Peter’s conscience, and he is broken by his sin. Yet he loved Jesus and his actions still show it.
What does Jesus do? We learn later in John 21 that He is here to restore Peter, and that will involve some further humbling and pain. Yet Jesus begins with ministry to Peter’s immediate needs by making him and the other disciples breakfast. Jesus is patient, and everything He does comes from His great love for these men.
- We all deal with sin in our own hearts, ways that we have been unfaithful to Jesus. Often those times are associated with the dark of night, and we carry shame into the light. Peter experienced that and can identify with us.
- Yet Peter gives us the right example of what to do in that situation: run to Jesus! How encouraging it is to picture a grown man with nothing to lose, throwing himself into the lake to get to Jesus. We must be equally humble and equally brash. No matter what you have done, do whatever you must to get to Jesus!
- Why do we do this? Because Jesus is so faithful, patient, loving, kind, good, generous, forgiving, and on we could go! Never will you find a Friend so faithful as Jesus, who sticks with you no matter what you have done. Get to Him, and you will experience His faithful love. And be ready, because He wants to also restore you to faithful love to Him.
Oh how good You are, Lord Jesus! As you ministered to Peter and the others by the sea, we ask that You minister to us today. Someday we will eat with You on the New Earth, but until that time we seek Your ministry through refreshment, love, light for our lives, and ongoing restoration to You.