Summary: A sermon for the 3rd Sunday after Eater Jesus appears to the disciples on the shore
3rd Sunday after Easter
" A Cookout Brings Faith"
"After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, 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 go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No." 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, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But 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. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. 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. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 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, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend 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 everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."" John 21:1-19, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the risen Christ. Amen
A shrewd worldly agnostic and a Christian clergyman, dressed in modest clerical suit, sat at the same table in the Pullman dining car. They were waiting for the first course at the dinner, a delicious Hudson River shad. Eying his companion coldly for a moment, the agnostic remarked: "I judge you are a clergyman, sir!!"
’’Yes, sir, I am in my Master’s service."
"Yes, you look it. Preach out of the bible, don’t you?"
"Oh, yes, of course."
" Find a good many things in the old Book that you don’t understand - eh?"
"Oh, yes, some thing."
"Well, what do you do then?"
"Why my dear friend, I simply do just as we do while eating this shad. If I come to a bone I quickly lay it on one side and go on enjoying the shad and let some fool insist on choking himself with the bones."
The agnostic wound his watch and went into the smoker.
I told you that story, because our gospel lesson this morning is about Peter who almost choked on his doubts, his misunderstanding, his disbelief of the resurrection of Jesus. Peter and the other disciples had been visited by the Lord twice, but it seems by this text they still didn’t understand or believe that he was alive, that he rose from the dead. They were still locked up in the upper room, they were struggling with their doubts, struggling with the appearance of Jesus, struggling with their thoughts of how can this be true. Life was changing too fast for them. They had spent three years of their life with this wandering preacher, giving up their homes, their security, their comfortable way of life, to live with this preacher from Nazareth who made their life - anything but comfortable.