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ontheshoreJohn 21:1-14 “Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), 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 realize 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 around 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 yards. 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. 1his was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.


This is a post-resurrection story but it is very useful in this season with the Savior called Lent.  For the remainder of this week, we will explore this text as a tool to examine ourselves. For some reason, boredom or weariness or whatever, Simon Peter decides he wants to go fishing and his old fishing buddies, the disciples join him.

Doesn’t that seem a bit incredible to you?  They were eyewitnesses to the Resurrection for goodness’ sake.  You think the rush from the spiritual adrenalin alone would have made them eager to spend time with Jesus and continue being about their Father’s Kingdom business.

Maybe not boredom but in the intensity of the last week, the need to do something “normal.”  Mountain tops are dizzying places and there’s always the chance we’ll fall off if we’re not careful.  Falling off the mountain top is far more traumatic than coming down the mountain to go fishing.  Catching fish may be a simple pleasure to be grasped because it is renewing, and you sense that this opportunity will not last.

21st century, performance-based Christians are all about activity–and all about significance.  Eternity is right around the corner and we all need to be ready.  Yet sometimes we just need to sit on our porch and read, or go to a ballgame, or bake a pie,

And that’s a good thing.  I cannot tell you how many times God has spoken to me in those times that seem to be an indulgence, breaking through my spiritual density that has been multiplied by my hyperactivity.  And it is important, as we shall see with Peter, to be ready to hear a message.

Have you been keeping your Sabbath?  Are you allowing yourself to unwind and slow down so that the Lord can speak and be heard?

(C) 2013 by STEPHEN DUNN  All rights reserved.



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