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John’s gospel post 86: Stranger on the shore

April 24, 2014

John 21:1- 14

Still oddly it seems that Jesus came and went. Not spending time with his followers.

The two Sunday visits to his disciples in the locked room.

John now tells us of third appearance in the familiar surroundings of the Sea of Galilee.

Familiar surroundings. Familiar activities.

Whatever their experiences of meeting Jesus had been it seems there was some uncertainty about what it all meant for them. Jesus may visit occasionally, but what are they to do?

Locking themselves away seems to have been not very fulfilling (Scrabble hadn’t been invented then).

In all the gospel we have never had a list of Jesus’ disciples.

Simon Peter is with Thomas, Nathanael (we haven’t heard of him since the early chapters, the sons of Zebedee (James & John) and 2 others (John is great for detail!).

Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade. It was what he was good at. It was time to go fishing. The others agreed to go with him. It was James and John’s trade as well, so it makes sense.

Some people use this decision to go back to fishing as a sign that Peter and the others had lost their focus, but frankly who can be too critical about what they chose to do in this state of limbo they found themselves in.

“I mean Jesus is alive but we hardly ever see him”.

It was a tough night. All their expertise counted for nothing. They caught not even a prawn.

Jesus decides to pay a visit. He stands by the shore – again unknown to his disciples.

He then asks a question. A cruel question – “got any fish?!”

That’s all they need. A stranger on the shore rubbing salt into their wounds!

“No”.

“Throw your net on the other side”.

These men are the experts. The man on the shore? Well whoever he is, what does he know.

But for some reason…

They throw the net and the results are overwhelming.

The humble disciple John suddenly realises it is Jesus, and Peter takes a dive for it after putting his coat,

He swims like the Thorpedo while the others row to shore.

It’s a new world freestyle record for the fisherman.

When the disciples arrive at the shore Jesus is cooking a fish barbecue (where did he get his fish from?)

He asks them for some of their fish. 153 they have caught. Rightly the nets should be broken.

It’s time for breakfast.

None of the disciples dared to ask who he was. Because they knew who he was. That’s a bit odd isn’t it. I mean if they know who he is they don’t need to ask, but again there seems to be something different but familiar about the risen Jesus.

Jesus gave out the food. Bread and fish again.

And it was time to talk.

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