Lent 2023 Day 7: Wed 1 Mar
Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), 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 realise 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 round him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Peter may have been present at Jesus’ crucifixion, but he was the failure who couldn’t even admit to being associated with him. Now he’s seen Jesus alive, though Jesus is not present all the time. Peter’s gone back to fishing but this time it feels like fishing is all that he’s ever going to do. Jesus might be alive, but what’s in it for me?
And he and his companions can’t even catch any fish.
The Lord Jesus is risen, heaven is rejoicing, the angels are still praising and worshipping God. Jesus has done it – his mission is finished. There are still things he will do, but they are final and triumphal.
Does Jesus roll up in a golden fiery chariot to the seashore in this passage? Do flights of angels attend him? Are the skies ringing? Not as far as we can see. A stranger appears on the shore and asks a question to which he already knows the answer. “Haven’t you caught anything?”
Perhaps Peter is wondering why this idiot is asking when he can see the boat’s empty! Anyway, “No”, he sighs. The stranger replies. Why Peter should follow his suggestion and cast his nets over the other side of the same boat in the same place is a mystery, and I leave you to wonder if Peter was humouring a stranger or perhaps responding to a voice that had a familiar ring of authority to it.
When they make a catch that is more than they can manage to pull in they realise who the stranger is. Who jumps out of the boat towards him? Why, it’s Peter!
Has God blessed you abundantly or do you feel that you live a subsistence Christianity?
What’s in it for you?
What do you desire most in your Christian life?
Is your church fellowship a boat that you stay in or launch from?
Father God, thank you for your gift of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection. He is all I need, and more. Teach me how to listen to and obey his voice in my life and in my church. Amen.