Walking the path Jesus took
John 21: 1-14 NIV “Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “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.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 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. 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.
When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 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. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.”
This past summer, my wife and I had the amazing opportunity to journey through the Holy Land. One of my favorite stops was on the South West shore of the Sea of Galilee in small place called Tabgha. This site has a church containing remains of walls dated from the fourth century. It is historically believed that this spot on the shore could be the place that is mentioned in the scripture above.
Our group sat early in the morning on the shore and listened as our guide spoke about Jesus calling out to the disciples from the shore. As in many of the places we visited, our imaginations could almost see Jesus there on the edge of the water speaking to the disciples fishing in the boat. Our guide told us how as the sun begins to rise, those in the boat would have had a had some difficulty seeing exactly who it was telling them to cast the net on the other side. When they did, the outcome was amazing.
We are living in a season where the world is looking for answers. Uncertainty about health, economy, school and “normal” life can create anxiety and fear. Before the Peter and the rest of the disciples went out fishing, Jesus had already appeared, as the resurrected savior, and had spoken words of life to the group as they believed in Him. It is then these men went back to doing what they had done before; fishing, but it was not going too well. It was then that they heard the voice of Jesus, even if they could not see Him. When they did what He told them to do, put the net on the other side, they brought in more fish than they could handle. It was then that one of the disciples realized who it was on the shore, it was Jesus.
No one can see into the future to know when or even how the COVID-19 crisis will end. We can, however, continue to hear the voice of the Master calling for us to follow Him and put our hope and trust in His promises. Over the past month I have seen how the Lord blesses and helps His people, especially when we put our complete hope in Him. It may be hard to see what He is doing and sometimes hard to hear His voice, but He has not gone anywhere.
As our concerns for the future continue to swirl and our world continues to look for answers, may the people of God rise up to continue to proclaim the truth. It is Jesus who is the victor, Jesus who is the savior, Jesus who is our healer and it is Jesus who is coming again.
“Soon and very soon, we are going to see the KING!”
That is Good News!
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.