The Risen King Goes Fishing

Tuesday 2nd April

John 21:1-7 

After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself; Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael, and two others of the disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing”. They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood at the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them “Children, have you any food?”. They answered Him “No”. And He said to them “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it because of the multitude of fish. Therefore the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on His outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 

Peter having previously denied Jesus, finds himself leading the other disciples back to Galilee, his home town. Although Jesus, in the previous chapter, had revealed Himself to all the disciples, it seems that Peter has decided to go back to his old life and to what he knew best, fishing! After toiling all night and catching nothing, Jesus shows Himself again to the disciples and tells them to re-throw their nets. Of course the obvious happens and they catch a multitude of fish, 153 to be exact. After the catch John recognizes that it is Jesus, His Lord. As he tells Peter, Peter puts a covering over his body, jumps out the boat and swims to the shore to greet Him, shortly followed by the other disciples.

This passage is almost exact mirror of the story in Luke 5:1-11 whereby Jesus again, miraculously helps the disciples catch fish. However at the end of that particular miracle Jesus turns and says to Peter that he will no longer catch fish but men, you will be a fisher of men. So why do we see Peter back fishing again in this passage? It seems like Peter and the other disciples are hopelessly and aimlessly searching for direction. They had just given up their careers and after 3 and half years of following Jesus, they are leaderless. Fishing is what they knew. So Jesus, once again reveals Himself to them so they might know that their nets are to gather men not fish. See Jesus had previously showed this to Peter, when He commanded him to go and catch men. Peter was the disciple’s leader yet instead of leading them to catch men, he led them to catch fish again. This revelation of seeing the risen Christ must have reminded Peter of Jesus words that were previously spoken to him. Go and catch MEN!! 

Sometimes in our lives we get lost and almost feel like we are wondering in the wilderness. We lose our way and go back to the only things we know how to do. That is called our comfort zones!! Jesus commands us all to be radical, to be fishers of men. However this revelation only comes when Jesus reveals who is a fresh in our lives. Peter had previously seen the resurrected Christ, yet it needed this miracle to get him back on track, to re-align his focus to Jesus’ commission to him and to jump out the boat. Notice that Jesus didn’t call Peter out the boat he jumped himself. When we have an encounter with the risen King, our lives radically change. Are you willing to jump out the boat? Have you lost your focus and are in need of re-aligning yourself with the revelation of the risen Christ?