Summary: Finding Jesus, again, was something the disciples had to do. The “old” Jesus was laid in the tomb. The “new” Jesus was now alive. Not fully understanding the Cross and His Salvation, they were mystified about His death and His purpose.
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called 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 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
JOHN 21 1-13
Finding Jesus, again, was something the disciples had to do. The “old” Jesus was laid in the tomb. The “new” Jesus was now alive. Not fully understanding the Cross and His Salvation, they were mystified about His death and His purpose. Here, in John’s gospel, he relates to us something that transpired out along a sea side where seven of His disciples found the Master, again. They were not the same after this encounter.
I see three things in these verses of John. The first thing I note is the SITUATION of the long night and the short morning. Next, I see the SURPRISE that greeted them as they recognized that it really was a live Jesus and not a dead hero. Then, I see the SECURITY He offered them and us as He met them that morning so long ago.
* THE SORROW: John 21:1-4; There was/is no way to gauge the depth of sorrow that these grown men suffered when they saw their Friend and their Hope nailed to the cross. They just could not believe it. For over three years they walked and talked with Him and they just thought it would go on like that for ever. But, He was dead and they had to pick up their lives and go on living-so they thought.
John 21:3; For Peter and the other fishermen of the group, that meant going back to their original job as fishermen. Yet, climbing into that boat, casting out the net, rowing to where the fish was supposed to be, was not exhilarating to them anymore. That night had to be filled with Sorrow. So often our nights are filled with sorrow: sorrow over broken health, ruined lives, depleted finances, wayward family members, lost jobs and the list goes on and on. Many are the nights that we labor in vain and are filled with great Sorrow.
John 21:3;Next, I see the Struggle that these men endured. These men were accomplished fishermen. They knew where the fish were. They knew how far down the fish were swimming, they knew how to catch the fish-but not this night. They struggled on and on, and their labor was fruitless. Oh, how often that mirrors our lives! We struggle in the darkness, we know what to do, we have been down the road before, we have all the answers, but we struggle and struggle and our catch is nil. We cannot seem to get ahead, bills pile up, life becomes more complex, our health deteriorates, our friends move away or they stop speaking to us, and we struggle constantly waiting for the break in the darkness and nothing happens. We are laboring all night and catching nothing.
John 21:3; I also note the Silence. There was no Jesus with whom to talk. The sea mocked their hearts. The Silence was deafening. Alone, they labored and the night wore on. Sometimes we get in that straight. We would like to talk to someone, to confide in someone and no one is near to listen or to help. Sometimes we enter the night that is filled with Silence and we toil all night long, wanting to talk to Jesus, but He seems so far away. We would love to have Him come and sit beside us in our boat of life and talk with us, but He seems to have gone away on a far journey. These disciples toiled all night in Sorrow and in Silence and caught nothing.