“As the day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore.” John 21:4
This is the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection. Peter and several other disciples became distracted and maybe confused and decided to go fishing. Jesus took this opportunity to reveal Himself to them and to re-establish His calling upon their lives.
First, we see the resurrected Christ standing on the beach at the dawning of a new day. This brings pictures into our minds as we realize this was the beginning of a brand new day for mankind. The outpouring of the Spirit for all people was about to begin. The glorious age of the church was dawning. The disciples were clueless and Jesus came to bring revelation into their lives.
Maybe you have been clueless, like the disciples? Still concerned only about natural things when the resurrected Christ is standing on the beach between two worlds calling us to recognize the spiritual time clock that is counting down. As the disciples were there at the beginning of the “new day”, we are here at the closing of God’s “prophetic day”. The church age is coming to a close, and the return of Christ is immenent. This age is coming to a close, the creation and society itself are suffering the birth pangs of transition. Embrace this new day and expect unprecedented acts of God to surface in your life.
Jesus began to call to His disciples from the beach “Children, do you have any fish?”
I love the compassion and tenderness in the voice of the Saviour. Children. Just a few days before this Jesus had appeared to His disciples. He showed them His pierced hands and feet. He breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit. They had received the Spirit of Adoption. They were now sons of God. The Lord was tenderly calling them His children. Today, we are sons and daughters of God if Christ is in us. If you have never been born again, now is the time for salvation. Call upon the name of Jesus, open your heart to Him and invite Him in. You can become a child of God.
Jesus asked them, “Do you have any fish?” “No” they replied. “Then cast your nets on the right side of the boat.”
These words were strangely familiar. They suddenly realized who the mysterious stranger on the beach really was. These were the words He had spoken to them when He first called them to follow Him. He was reminding them of their calling and election. He was reminding them of their supernatural life.
Peter remembered this encounter when he was facing his own execution many years later. He wrote in his second letter, “Make your calling and election sure.” Peter had come to know that the supernatural call of God is essential in our lives. When difficult times come, we have to go back to our calling. He called me. He chose me. My calling and election are sure. He will keep me in the hardest of times.
After the disciples followed His instructions, they experienced an incredible harvest of fish. This harvest was beyond human explanation. This was the work of God. This was clearly a picture given to the disciples about the harvest of souls about to come into their ministry. The Lord was preparing to harvest souls, they were about to become fishers of men.
The disciples hurried to the beach, wanting to get close to their Lord. As they arrived at shore they smelled the smell of fresh bread and smoked fish. Jesus had prepared breakfast for them “Come and have breakfast,” He said. The disciples were about to have an incredible meal. The Lord had spread a table for them in the wilderness.
As the disciples sat down for breakfast, they found themselves stealing glances at His hands and His feet. It was still too good to be true. Their prophet, their King, their teacher, and friend had become their Saviour. Their hearts were bursting with thanks and worship as Jesus began to serve the bread and fish. This reminded them of another day when they distributed bread and fish from a little boy’s lunch. Thousands of people on that day, but now it was just Jesus and a handful of men. Their lives were being changed.
Jesus was teaching them again about our spiritual food. Man does not live by natural bread alone. We must feast on God. He taught them in John 6:54, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” They were sitting in an incredible atmosphere. They were eating more than bread and fish. They were feasting on God Himself.
This is now how we live our lives. We are in need of spiritual food everyday. We can feast on God in our daily devotions, in our bible studies and in our corporate worship services. Jesus has spread a table for you. Can you hear Him calling your name? “Come and have breakfast with me.”
After breakfast Jesus began to engage conversation with Peter. He asked him three times if Peter loved him. Peter was puzzled, responded that of course he loved Jesus. Jesus began to instruct Peter about displaying that love by pouring out to other people. He was teaching Peter about another kind of spiritual food. In John 4:34, Jesus spoke about this other food. He said His food was to do the will of God.
Christianity is made up of two kinds of food. It is our spiritual diet. Of course the first food is feasting on God, sitting down at the table He has spread for us. Feasting with Him and on Him.
Our second food is distributing the food we receive. This is not only our work, but it is our food It is our joy and our nourishment to find our place of service and distribute this precious bread and fish.