Summary: Jesus shows Himself to us in various ways.
Text: “After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias… (John 21:1).
According to the Gospel of John, this is the third time Jesus appeared before the disciples. The first time was the evening of the Resurrection. “Then the same day at evening, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’” (John 20:19).
Jesus appeared in the room with the disciples although the doors were shut. This tells us that doors, walls, or any other types of barriers are no challenge to the risen Jesus.
Jesus showed the disciples the wounds in His hands and His side. This was to convince them they were not seeing a ghost or apparition.
The second time Jesus appeared to the disciples was after eight days or a week later. Scripture tells us, “And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’” (John 20:26).
Thomas was not present with the disciple the previous week when Jesus appeared. This was a new experience to him. Jesus appeared in the flesh to convince the disciples that He was the same person who was crucified upon the Cross. His resurrected body was unique in that it was not subject to or it did not abide by the same laws of nature as it did prior to the Resurrection.
You and I can’t enter a room unless there is a door or some type of opening or entrance. Since Jesus’ resurrected body was different, earthly barriers were not issues of concern for Him. This is why He could appear in a room without going through physical openings such as doors or windows.
The first two appearances of Jesus to the disciples took place in or near Jerusalem. The third time Jesus showed Himself to the disciples was at the disciple’s place of work. The disciples earned their living by fishing and this day they were fishing on the Sea of Tiberias which is also called the Sea of Galilee,
We must remember the disciples had been through very trying times. Before the Crucifixion Jesus told His disciples what would take place. They missed the point, didn’t understand, or just refused to believe what Jesus was telling them. They had high hopes that Jesus was going remain with them and take care of all their needs.
You and I are like the disciples. When life is going well we are happy and content. There is a smile on our face and joy in our heart. We feel a sense of assurance and safety. We would like to have this feeling all the time, but, we realize life has its’ ups and downs.
There are going to be days when we feel really good, but there are also days when there are aches and pains in our bodies. Sometimes we can’t sleep because we hurt. Other times it is difficult for us to even get out of bed. We may even think no ones cares about how we feel because no one comes to visit us.
Jesus knows our every hurt, our every ache and pain, and our every thought. He is always with us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
The disciples were happy on the day Jesus made His grand entry into Jerusalem. As the week went by, they were faced with trials and tribulations they never expected. They were there when Judas betrayed Jesus and the Roman soldiers arrested Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.
They saw Him bound and led away to appear before the Annas and Caiaphas. Peter, himself, denied Jesus three times. It tore their heart apart when the Roman soldiers mocked Him and pushed the crown of thorns into His scalp. Their ears were hurting when the crowd was shouting, “Crucify Him, crucify Him” (John 19:6).
The disciples felt the flogging within their own bodies as well as the burden of carrying the heavy cross-beam to the place of crucifixion. The pain of the nails being driven into His hands and feet siphoned all hope out of the disciple’s mind. These trials and tribulations left them with empty hearts.
We, too, face trials and tribulations that give us an empty feeling within our heart. When we have a loved one sick or hurting, our heart feels the pain. Today, many people are facing difficult times due to the economy. Many have lost jobs and the result is lack of income to support their family. They are being tested and tried.
Schools are facing shortage of operating funds and some schools are being closed. Some teachers are losing their jobs while others do not have sufficient materials for the classroom.