Fish for Breakfast?!
Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Fishing_with_cast-net_from_a_boat photo from Wikimedia
I tried to finish this series the last time, but I can’t help it . . . more keeps stirring in my heart. So, here is more 😁
John 21: 1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself. 2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, I go a fishing. They say to him, We also go with you. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, Children, have you any meat? They answered him, No. 6 And he said to them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat to him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, Bring of the fish which you have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
12 Jesus said to them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples dared ask him, Who are you? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then comes, and takes bread, and gives them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my lambs. 16 He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my sheep. 17 He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Love you me? And he said to him, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.(AKJV)
Once more I wish to talk about one fisherman in particular . . . Peter.
At this time the political/religious climate in Jerusalem was charged and dangerous. The disciples knew that due to the recent crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus, they were targeted in Jerusalem. You see, the body of Jesus was missing. So, although the disciples had seen Him, they recognized the danger and knew their lives were at risk.
So, they has managed to escape out of Jerusalem, returning to their hometown Capernaum. Back to the familiar and the comfortable, they hoped to find some peace in anonymity.
The fishing business had continued on in their absence, and they still had large and small boats to go back to that life.
Peter’s house in Capernaum has been found by archaeologists and is well toured by now. It is a large house with many rooms, not a tiny hut. This is the house that Jesus visited and where He healed Peter’s mother-in-law.
house of peter in capernaum photo by biblicalarchaeology.com
The disciples had not received the Great Commission and so the scope of what lay ahead for their lives was yet unknown to them.
But, once again, as at the beginning of their ministry with Jesus, they had a night of fishless fishing, and as before Jesus appeared and called out from the shore and asked them to cast the net on the right side of the ship. This time no one questioned, they just did . . . and had the same result.
153 large fish and yet the net did not break.
full of fish photo from freebibleimages
When it happened again, not only did Peter remember the first catch, but also the call that came with the first catch. Note one difference, the first time peter said, “depart from me Lord” this time he dove in the water to get to shore ahead of everyone else.
Just a few days before on the night of Jesus’s arrest, Peter had been bold (or stupid) enough to attack Malchus the servant of the High Priest. You do understand that Peter was not trying to sever the ear, he was trying to cut off Malchus’s head. Thankfully he was not very good with the sword!😂🤣 He missed and got the ear only!!
Peter didn’t understand then that the reason Jesus had to stop him and heal Malchus was to protect Peter and his future ministry known only to Jesus. Without Jesus’s intervention, Peter would surely have been arrested with Jesus or killed on the spot. Had Peter been arrested or killed at that time, where would we be?? Where would Christianity be??!!
However, later that same night all his zeal departed and cowardice took hold when he watched Jesus subjected to sham trials by the Pharisees.
Jesus heals ear cut off photo from churchofjesuschrist.org
Peter denied Jesus three times. Someone like Peter would have felt very guilty and ashamed for having denied the very Lord he recognized as the Son of God, and swore allegiance to.
Now, when the disciples got ashore Jesus had breakfast already going on the grill. Fish and bread! I wonder where He got that fish from? When I get to heaven, I will ask Him!
He did ask them to get more from the catch, but I believe that was mainly to have them count and say how many big ones they caught. 153 big ones!
Desiring closeness, but fearing condemnation and certainly condemning himself, Peter came close to Jesus only to be greeted with casual yet tender compassion. “Come, eat!”
Jesus makes breakfast in Galilee photo from Bible fun for kids.jpg
How precious is the love of God, and how enduring His mercy to all us sinners! Nothing escapes His notice, and no sin escapes His mercy! There is always an invitation for every sinner to the table set by the Master: “Come eat!” The only one who can refuse is the sinner!
During this breakfast break, Jesus gave three opportunities to Peter, one per denial! Three times Peter denied, three times he had opportunity to affirm his love for the Master.
The first time Jesus asked: Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me more than these? Peter responded: “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said: “Feed my lambs.” This word “lambs” here is clarified in Strong’s concordance as Lambkins, or little ones.
The second time repeating the question and getting the appropriate answer, Jesus commanded Peter to “Feed my sheep.” This word here is understood as “Shepherd my sheep,” as a shepherd lead them, guide them. The responsibility here was increased. Jesus was passing the charge of a Shepherd on to Peter. This was a commissioning.
Finally when He stated “Feed my sheep” the third time, the word here meant “Feed my adult sheep.”
So, Peter at this moment was commissioned as a Shepherd. A fisherman was made a shepherd. Hereon he was to feed and care for the sheep . . . little and big ones, male and female ones.
A few weeks later after the ascension of Jesus, as they were praying in the upper room, the Holy Spirit came as a rushing wind and descended upon the disciples as a flame. That was the transformative moment for all of them. In that moment they were baptized (immersed) in the Holy Spirit and Fire as had been prophesied.
Pentecost photo from relevant magazine.com
When people outside the upper room heard the commotion they were curious. The same Peter who had denied Jesus three times, the same one who had stealthily run out of Jerusalem to his home region, it was this same Peter who now rose, empowered by the Holy Spirit and gave the first and best sermon to the crowd.
So powerful was the sermon that three thousand received Christ and were baptized that day.
That Peter did take the responsibility of a Shepherd very seriously is made apparent by history. Over time he went on to Rome to evangelize to the Jews living there. Persecution was great in those days. The early church had a very rough beginning.
Peter was crucified in Rome. His love and dedication to the Lord was such that when he knew he was to be crucified, he requested that he be crucified upside down for he did not feel worthy of a death on the cross like his Lord.
This was Peter, with all his failings, his imperfections, just a fisherman . . . who went on to become the great Apostle venerated in Christendom.
I hope you see, these fishermen were totally ordinary . . . but God is so great at taking something totally ordinary and transforming it to become something genuinely extraordinary.
His transformative work continues today. Every life that comes to Him regardless of the situation, or condition, when surrendered to Him is made new. Old things all pass away in that moment of surrender and the Holy Spirit takes over and begins His tranformative work.
I know that from my own personal experience. You can also . . .
Fish, Fishermen and Boats . . . Part IFish,
Fishermen and Boats . . . Part IIFish,
Fishermen and Boats . . . Part IIIFish,
Fishermen and Boats . . . Part IV
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