21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “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. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 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. 7 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. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 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. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
This is a familiar post resurrection story. Peter and a few disciples decided to go fishing but they don’t catch anything. Nothing. We are also told that this is the third time that Jesus had appeared to his disciples.
Not the first time, but the third time. And this time, Jesus finds them fishing for fish.
It would be easy to think that Jesus could have told them off, for being in the boat fishing for fish and not doing what he had trained them to be and that was to be fishers of men. But that is not how Jesus talks to us. He doesn’t say to us, “how many times do I have to tell you…?”
Instead, Jesus sees them, sees their struggle – they haven’t caught anything at all. He reveals himself to them AGAIN as their provider and fills their nets. He also prepares breakfast for them on the beach.
Jesus doesn’t talk to us as we think we deserve, instead in his great love for us, he talks to us as we need to hear. When we make mistakes, he isn’t yelling at us, he is loving us. He doesn’t turn away from us, he stays with us and provides for us, whatever that could be, even breakfast on the beach.
Jesus, thank you for loving us, for being patient with us, and always speaking to us as we need even when we think we don’t deserve it.
Written by Andrew Martin