April 26, 2019
JOHN After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. 9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples
Here we join the last breakfast. Jesus is cooking by the time the guys came in from fishing without anything to show for being wet and cold. He must have walked down to the water, shouting the question all fishers hear as the boat nears the dock, “Boys, didn’t catch anything, did you?” “Nothing,” the glum reply. Chuckling, Jesus said, “Throw the net on the right side, there’s fish to be caught.” To which, John thought, “haven’t we been here before? It’s the Lord!” Peter not to be outdone dives into the sea getting to the beach first.
The grill was hot. Jesus called for fresh fish and they ate right there. It’s like a group of buddies had serve as pall bearers for the best among them, only suddenly there he is alive but changed and all for the better. If death can’t stop him, what can stop any of them? Sated with food, they lay around like a pile of puppies. The scene is irresistibly attractive, the kind rising from a genuine religious experience. Oh, there were issues to tend and a whole world to save, but on that clear cool morning they were at peace, together again.
By the time John writes this text, only he remains. His brother, James was the first to fall. Now he will be the last. Sons of Thunder, bookends of the Apostles. In the high altar mural in the church here at Saint John’s is the old John. He’s not crazed exactly, but clearly he has seen something.
And he did. I’m grateful for his Gospel. Wish there was Volume 2.
In hope, in spite of the facts.