Discovering Spiritual Truths & Celebrating God's Grace in the Every Day Happenings of Life.
I love the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday. It is from John 21:1-14, a great post-Easter account. It is the first reference to a game of “Go Fish” and also the likely origins of a Midwest, Friday night fish fry. Since I will not be preaching on it this weekend, I thought I would share a few thoughts now…
A resurrected Jesus reveals Himself again to His disciples. This is the third time. He finds them unsuccessfully fishing. Of course, this is somewhat ironic itself as it is exactly how Jesus had found them three years prior. But this time is different. They have three years of history together. Countless conversations. Travel stories. Shared experiences. There is a deeper relationship between Jesus and His followers now than there was before. There is a deeper level of love and trust on display.
Jesus comes again to them and says, “Children, do you have any fish?” Jesus calls them children. This is the first and only time in the gospel that Jesus addresses them this way. With a word, He captures not their childishness but His deep affection for them. He speaks to them tenderly as a loving parent, to a resilient child. The Lord of all creation lives and has come yet again to care for them. But this is not the only reason He comes to them now. It is likely that the disciples did not fully understand or appreciate the magnitude and implications of the resurrection. It is hard to fault them for that. But it also appears that in the immediate days following Jesus triumphant return from the grave, the disciples had gone back home to the rigors and routine of “normal” life. They went back home, back to work. Jesus shows up, but not just to feed them. He comes to let them know that they will not remain in their homes. They will not stay in their familiar, comfortable bubbles.
As followers of Jesus, they are about to be pushed out of their homes and into the world of people lost and hurting—a ripe harvest field to be sure! The impressive catch of fish is just a foreshadowing of the lives they will catch for Jesus. They will go out in mission to the ends of the earth. But they will be loved, and they will be led... by Jesus. He knows how to navigate this strange world. The One who died for them, now lives, and cares for them as He awakens them to His call. The days after Easter are strange. We are slowly returning to our patterns of Church life and family life after the festivities of Easter. Yet, we need to be careful we do not become too comfortable with the comforts of home. For what Easter has taught us is how this world is changed. Jesus has risen from the dead and rules over all things. He not only saves us from sin but leads us in life from the comforts of home to the call of His Kingdom. There, at the end of our strength, is the beginning of His grace. Jesus has risen to bring you, His child, into His mission in His Kingdom. Happy fishing my friends!
Reference Article that inspired thoughts and provided many of the words.
Pastor Steve Vera