Breakfast on the Beach

John 21:1-19

Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish

21 Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), 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 realise 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 round 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 metres.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.

Jesus reinstates Peter

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’

Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’

16 Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’

Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’

17 The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’

Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’

Many years ago I had the privilege of travelling to Israel and visiting some of the places Jesus visited .I remember standing on the shores of Galilee and being reminded of this story. It was a time for repentance for wrong attitudes and broken relationships.
Have you ever done anything that made you feel you could not want people to know about that? So often we do things that we are really embarrassed about and don’t want others to know how stupid we have been.
Let’s look at Peter
He boasted he would never leave Jesus– it’s easy to be bold and say we will never do something, but in reality it doesn’t always work. Marrying a non Christian – my sister-in-law’s reaction when I said that – I hadn’t seen her as non-Christian but she did. What I was going to allow or not from my child.
He denied he knew Jesus – panic set in and he was afraid. How did Peter feel when he realised what he had done?
We know he went out and wept - he must have felt really bad, especially when Jesus looked at him.
Even worse, he had to watch Jesus die a cruel death on the cross.
Now here we are and he does not appear to be coping with it all.
Peter went back to the familiar
I’m going fishing
Back to the old life
I can cope with that.
Does this remind you of anybody?
I wonder how many of our prodigals have felt like this and found the old ways better.
I wonder if they were disillusioned by the church or maybe felt they had blown it and couldn’t face people.
Fishing wasn’t that good till Jesus stepped in
He did not berate them – even though they went back to their old lives
They had tried all night and caught nothing.
He helped them find the fish – telling them to cast their nets on the other side
They recognised him at once
Peter’s reaction
He wraps his cloth around him and rushes to the shore. I’m not sure I would be like that. I think I would still want to hide.
Jesus did the feeding
Note here, it was Jesus who prepared the meal and gave it to them.
Let Jesus do the feeding with those we wish to meet.
We may be the ones to serve the physical food and provide them with love and friendship and build relationships with them but we are not there to Bible bash and put them off again
Notice, he did not berate them for going fishing, but helped them find where the fish were.
He restored Peter
Look at the response of Jesus
He must have known how Peter was feeling because in one instance he said, “Tell my disciples and Peter.”
Where was the reprimand?
It wasn’t there.
How often we just go in and criticise without thinking
You did this or that, how could you?
No, Jesus just asked Peter three times if he loved Him
He didn’t say, ‘You’ve blown it, I can’t trust you again. You are not fit for service.’
No he gave him a job to do. ‘Feed my sheep. Take care of my lambs. Look after my flock.’
Would we do that, or would we say,’you’re not fit for purpose?’
God knows who he can rely on even if we have let Him down at times. He sees our potential and uses it in His mission
So where does this fit in with mission?
I believe that many who we will come into contact with may be people who have once walked the walk and talked the talk. We need to come alongside them and then let Jesus do the feeding.
Our role is to befriend and pray for them, show them hospitality; answer any questions, but let Jesus do the feeding.
Ask Him to show you how He wants you to partner with Him in His mission to them.
Pray that you will have opportunities to meet with prodigals and just allow Jesus to minister through you.
Messy Church is a place where we see prodigals, those who may have made a commitment at some point or other. It is a good place to begin to build relationships and show the love of Jesus.
Remember it is His mission and we partner with Him
Certainly in this story there was no hint of an older brother showing off as in the story of the Prodigal son
Jesus showed grace and mercy
This is what He wants from us too.
What about us?
Do we find it easier to go back to the familiar?
Sometimes we are like Peter. It is easier to go back to what we know rather than move on to new challenges. Yet Jesus would say to us, “Feed my sheep, feed my lambs, and take care of my flock.” In the summer we went to Birmingham for Summer School. During one session we were sent out to spend an hour with God as we walked around the area. I decided I would like to retrace my steps back to my memories of College and find Weoley Pond, where we learnt to canoe. As I walked along the road, I felt God say to me, “You can’t go back to the old.” I never did find Weoley Pond; in fact I stopped looking and just tried to orientate myself where we were. God wants to move us on. He is gentle in His moving, but we can’t go back just for the sake of being comfortable. He will feed us and give the direction .We need to listen.
Is Jesus challenging you today?
Two weeks ago we were given a word through Nyamka that this is a time of change. There is a new season. Things have been changing at church over the last year as we seek to move forward in the way we feel God is leading us.
Going forward can be scary. Peter wasn’t promised an easy life; in fact he was told how he would die. It can mean moving out of our comfort zone, but blessings await us when we are obedient.
Ask someone to pray for you
Jesus understands where we are at and wants to strengthen us to move forward, so if you are struggling with moving on with God, don’t leave today without asking someone to pray for you.

Chrissie Foster, 13/11/2013