Monday, May 1, 2017

The Disciples Catch Another Boat Load of Fish!

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. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 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.
Today we see the third appearance of Jesus to his disciples.  Yesterday the disciples were out fishing and had caught nothing.  An apparent stranger on the beach told them to throw the net over the side of the boat.  They caught such a huge load of fish they couldn't haul in the catch. 
As they get closer to the beach, John recognizes Jesus. Does this found familiar?  Remember the foot race to the empty tomb, where Peter got there first, but John looked in and believed.  Once again, John recognizes the Lord first, but Peter not to be outdone jumps out of the boat toward Jesus. 
When the rest come to the shore, Jesus has a fire on the beach with some fish and bread.   When Peter brings in the net there are 153 fish.  Okay who was there to count the fish?  Is it that important? There have been many hypotheses over the years about the significance of the number.  I.e. One person somehow counted that Jesus had visited 153 personally in the gospels. None of them seem very plausible to me.  I think the significance was that it was A LOT of fish.  An abundance.  
When Jesus called his disciples in Luke 5 there is a very similar story. In that story there are so many fish the disciples' net breaks.  In this story, the net stays intact. Does this mean anything?  Maybe.  I think the bottom line is that Jesus re-affirms the original calling to his disciples when he called them down by the water.  As he prepares to go back to the Father, he leaves them with a message.  As they fish for people, he will always be with them.  He will provide a catch so large they will barely be able to haul it in. No longer would he be with them in person, but He would be sending the Spirit to be with them in a new way soon.    

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