In the aftermath of the Easter activities (or lack of them) we find it helpful to look at what happened in the life of Jesus and the disciples in that same time period. This week we would like to reflect on the story listed in John 21:1-14. Some of the disciples are together when Peter declares that he is going fishing. The others (that is, Thomas, Nathanael and James and John) decide to go with him.
Despite fishing all night, they are caught nothing. When the early morning dawns Jesus is standing on the shore and calls out to them, asking about their success. The disciples do not recognise Jesus who then suggests they throw the nets on the right side of the boat. When they take his advice the volume of fish they caught was so large they were unable to bring the net into the boat. 153 large fish, in fact.
It is at this point that it dawns on John that the person on the beach is not a random stranger, but the Lord, and once he says so Peter jumps into the water to get to the shore. Once everyone is back they share in a meal of fish and bread together.
Here are some things to consider about this encounter:
Without their teacher around, the disciples appear a little lost, and so return to what they did before they knew Jesus. It was as if they were not able, still, to understand that life was forever changed with his resurrection from the dead. They were living in uncharted territory now, and so it was easier to return to the things they once knew, the familiar, rather than try and work out what to do next, based on all the learning and input from the past 3 years.
We need to be careful in these, our days of unchartered waters. All the things we have grown used to are not currently available for us and so we need to beware of returning to behaviours we knew before engaging with Jesus. Working out a new way of living out our faith in isolation is challenging and difficult without the face to face connections we have with other believers. Just because it’s hard or different doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
What things are you putting in place to keep connected to Jesus? How are you trying to continue to grow in your spiritual walk? We are happy to offer some suggestions and resources if you need.
Be encouraged with the fact that just because the disciples returned to their previous life didn’t mean Jesus abandoned them. He still sought them out and gave them the opportunity to reconnect. This tells us that it is important to still keep our eyes open to the things that He may be trying to teach us in these times. Don’t be like the disciples who were unable to recognise Jesus’ presence.