Reading the Word
John 21:1–14 (ESV)
1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 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!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
9 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.” 11 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. 12 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. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Understanding and Applying the Word
After the disciples had returned to fishing, Jesus appeared to them again. They had been fishing all night, but had caught nothing. That’s when Jesus called out to them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. When they did, the net was filled with fish. John called out, “It is the Lord!” and Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore to be with Jesus. When they reached the shore, they ate some of the fish they had caught for breakfast.
Jesus had told the disciples that he would meet with them in Galilee (Matthew 28:10; Mark 14:28). Evidently, they had gone there to wait, but had become restless and discouraged and returned to fishing. When they realized that Jesus was on the shore, their feelings of discouragement quickly faded. Look at Peter’s excitement as he jumped into the water to swim!
We too can become discouraged when we feel like God has abandoned us or is distant. However, Jesus has promised to never leave us. In whatever circumstances we are facing, we know that the Lord is walking right beside us. We often fail to recognize him, but we are assured he is there. Let us be like Peter as we find strength and encouragement in his presence.
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