In 18 Lines
God: I gotcha
Adam & Eve: OK, cool
Satan: He doesn’t mean it
Adam & Eve: Okay
Adam & Eve: Oh snap
God: I’ll getcha
REST OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
God: Hang on
Hebrews: We’re tryin’
Jesus: I came to getcha
People: Kill ‘im
Satan: He’s dead now
Jesus: Not now
Satan: Oh snap
Lots of people: Nope
Some people: Whoa, yeah
Father/Jesus/Spirit: I gotcha
Look with me at the last chapter of the gospel of John. It’s not merely an interesting add-on. This chapter is an important bridge from the facts of Jesus’ life, teaching, death & resurrection to our lives.
After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.
But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.
So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!”
Some of Jesus’ disciples went back to fishing. To the way it had been before Jesus came along. Back to the same old same old – people, home, work, lake, tackle. John is showing the tendency we humans have to default, to return to the same values, habits, patterns, behaviors, & lifestyles. He’s showing this so he can show the difference Jesus Christ makes with his dying & rising, defeating the enemy kingdoms, & becoming King. Now that he’s alive, what differences will there be? What differences will we accept? Did Jesus go through all that & there not be anything different come out of it? Can we believe Jesus is the Messiah & Son of God and that not make anything different? Now that he’s alive – what?
Fishing was not sport or recreation for those men. It was sustenance – how they kept themselves and their families alive. It was their career – their purpose, their reason to get up every morning, the way they produced something worthwhile. It was their lifestyle – what they did 6 days pretty much every week. Maybe they went back for safety, thinking if they stick with fishing maybe the people who killed Jesus won’t come after them. Maybe they went back because it was comfortable – Jesus has risen but maybe they’re not sure what’s going to happen next, so they go back to what’s comfortable. Fishing gives them meaning, security, control; it gives them life – physically, emotionally, psychologically, & spiritually. We all have those – like family or job, something of your own – which makes you happy. Does Jesus being alive make any difference in those things?
They caught no fish. John is saying there’s no real meaning, security & control in the same old same old. There’s no real life in all that.
On shore, Jesus yells: “Fish on the right side!” They take in a huge haul. One of them realizes: “It’s the Lord! The King is right here in Galilee!” Peter swims to shore, the others row the boat. What’s John saying? Get to Jesus.
They make it to shore. Jesus greets them: “Breakfast is ready. Let’s eat!” He already had the fish that had been trying all night to catch! John’s showing that Jesus has what we’re looking for, he provides what we need. Life. He’s been saying that all through this book: the Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Door, the Way & Truth & Life, the True Vine, the Resurrection & Life. Jesus is & has what you need. And now it’s ready for you. That’s the difference made by his sacrifice on the cross, rising from the dead, taking the throne & bringing the Kingdom into this (your) world. Breakfast is ready. You can have what you need. You can have meaning, security, & control. You can have life. Take it in. Take in God’s love & be accepted, take in God’s mercy & be forgiven, take in God’s righteousness & be good, take in God’s wisdom & be competent, take in God’s healing & be renewed, take in God’s peace & be secure, take in God’s joy & be satisfied, take in God’s hope & be confident. Now that he’s alive, it’s all ready.
Don’t go back to fishing. Don’t stick with the same old same old. Get to Jesus – swim, row, bicycle, 4-wheel, run, walk, crawl – get to him by faith & take the life he has ready for you.
They finish breakfast. Jesus starts a conversation with Peter. Peter’s the one who led that fishing trip. He’s a born leader, and he had led back to same old same old. But he also led the way getting to Jesus on shore. Peter had always been one of the 3 closest to Jesus, with James & John. Then he was the one who denied he even knew Jesus. In this conversation, Jesus taking all those pieces of Peter’s life and putting them together so Peter becomes a new man – he has a new relationship with Jesus, he has a new mission, he has a new destiny. He’s actually going to be a partner with the King building the Kingdom until the day he dies.
That’s a difference for us. The risen, reigning King takes the pieces of our lives & builds us into new people. Some pieces, he throws away. Some pieces, he repairs. He brings in some new pieces. He puts us together in a way that we can live in his Kingdom & work as his partners.
I wish I could say that all this is working smoothly in my own life. To tell you the truth, I have a lot of same old same old. A lot of the same sins, fears, & distractions.
I can say this. I know there can be a difference. I know that Jesus’ dying & rising was not just to add something religious to the same old same old so I can go to heaven. I know that Jesus being the risen King brings about the difference that I and every person (you) are looking for. Now that he’s alive, we can live. Get to him.
(Please read part 1 below) What was God going to do with them? The detective investigated, examined evidence and clues, consulted experts, theorized, followed leads – but he was stumped. He couldn’t solve the mystery. So, finally, he just watched. He set up a stake out and watched. He watched what God did. God […]