Do you hope as I do that some day in heaven there will be instant replays of all the miracles God performed on earth? Perhaps because there is no time in eternity we will be able to see what Jesus did on those forty days He appeared alive teaching, walking, and eating meals with all His disciples, not just the eleven. In “real-time!” Today is only 15 days since we celebrated the resurrection. Are we still amazed by the miracle or have we all moved on to our routines as if nothing has changed?
Curiosity has me wondering how many times Jesus showed up after the resurrection and before His ascension, and though the New Testament doesn’t give me as much of the story as I would like to know, there are several stories that give us glimpses of those 40 days.
This one is “the third time Jesus was manifested to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.”* Six of the original twelve were back in Galilee perhaps to resume their fishing businesses or to check on their homes and families. After all they had been gone a lot in the last three years. Perhaps like us today they had gone back to their routines.
After fishing all night and catching nothing they pointed the boat toward shore. As dawn’s first rays lit the beach they saw a man standing there who shouted a common greeting fishermen say to one another today, “have you caught any fish?” Peter and the five shouted back, “No,” to which the man on the shore replied also as fishermen do today when they share tips with one another, “try the right side of the boat and you will find a catch.”
Of course this proved to be no ordinary fishing tip as their net was instantly full to the breaking point. They knew the man was Jesus. Spontaneous Peter dove into the sea and swam to shore while his friends rowed back dragging the net full of fish. A campfire was already cooking some fish and bread; a welcome sight for the tired hungry men.
Then begins a lesson on shepherding Jesus’ people in the coming days. Like so many of the lessons Jesus teaches it was a hard one to grasp and to understand. Peter, trying to make sense of Jesus predictions concerning him, asks what we are all so prone to say, “but what about this man?”*
Comparison is clearly nothing new. Neither is our desire for fairness for Peter wanted to know if John was going to have the same fate as he. But Jesus as always has the perfect reply: “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” What He has for each of us is always unique and perfectly suited to how He has made us. Graciously He will give us the strength to follow that will.
What has He given you to do? When it seems that a mistake must have been made, that He surely intended a different path for you, will you obey as Peter did when Jesus commanded him to, “Follow Me!”? As we all live the lives God has given us, I pray we will not grow numb to the miracle of the resurrection as we return to our routines and the daily responsibilities of life. Jesus wants to show up for us just as He did that day for the disciples as they were fishing. But we have to be alert to hear his voice. May we respond as eagerly as did the disciples and run to meet Him.