“Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” – knowing that it was the Lord.
Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.” (NKJV)
Revelation always brings restoration. Revelation also demands a response. Peter could barely contain himself when he realized that the man on the shore was His dearest friend and Lord. He was filled with new life and strength. He felt like a young man again, as he put his outer garment on and splashed into the cold waters so early in the morning. He was making his way to Jesus! He left his friends to bring in their huge catch of fish. Their harvest of 153 large fish was all the more miraculous when we see that they were caught in relatively shallow waters – just 200 cubits (about 300 ft) from the shore, and after sunrise.
Jesus already had a fire of coals burning, with fish and bread on it. He had come ready to have breakfast on the beach with His friends! When Jesus asked for some of the freshly caught fish and invited the men to eat breakfast with Him, they did not need to ask Him if He was Jesus. They knew He was their friend and Lord, the One who fed the thousands, walked on water, healed the lepers and raised the dead. When He took the bread off the fire, broke it, and passed it to His friends, they had no more doubts or uncertainties because they saw the still bloody nail marks on His hands. As they looked at Him a little closer, they saw the thorn scratches across His forehead and on the side of His head. This was the third time the disciples saw Jesus after His resurrection, and although He seemed to look different each time, this was Jesus alright! He was their Savior who promised never to forsake them. He makes the same promise to you today.
Let me leave you with these thoughts from today’s Scripture:
• The disciples of Jesus were discouraged and depleted when they headed out to sea in their fishing boat. They were probably very weary and dejected after a fruitless night of peering into the darkness and having no fish. They thought they were alone on the ocean in the deepest darkness, struggling unsuccessfully to do what they should have managed effortlessly; but Jesus knew where they were. He was standing by, watching out for them. He was aware of their struggles and difficulties. He came to make a difference. He came to give them the victory. He is here to do the same for you! They had run away from God’s mighty plan for their lives, but Jesus came to bring them back to their calling.
• However big the challenges before you, remember that you are filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and He makes you equal to the task, however great and impossible it may seem to be. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, so although the demands may be huge and heavy, your net will never be broken – God Himself is enabling you to fulfill all the demands of your life and stay in one piece, and in His peace! He who began a good work in you will certainly bring it all to fulfillment (Philippians 1:6). He is making it happen for you.
• There may be evangelists reading this message who are experiencing discouragement and wondering if they missed their calling, or missed the voice of God. The Holy Spirit would have you know that as you focus on Jesus and go back to basics, and as you allow Him to tell you where and how to fish, you will see a bigger harvest than ever before. Get your nets ready. Be prepared for a harvest of souls. Tune in to the voice of Jesus telling you where to cast your net!
• You may think that you are battling on your own amidst the dark waters of your problems, but Jesus is on your side, and offering to help you by His Spirit. You are not alone. He knows your difficulties and He is here to help you. He already has the bread and fish upon the fire. He has already got the answer to your prayer. If you have been experiencing a time of financial difficulties, come back to the Word and begin to do things Jesus’ way. Whatever the issue you have been dealing with, know and believe that supernatural help is on its way as you call on His name.
• Maybe you have been feeling distanced from the Lord, and wondering what happened to the fire and passion you once had in your heart. Or maybe you long to know Him better and have never really taken the right step towards Him. Today, Jesus is waiting for you to rush to Him as Simon Peter did. He is waiting to throw His arms around you and embrace you back into His love. Peter had denied Jesus three times and betrayed Him in His hour of need, but Jesus welcomed him back with open arms. He has the same reception for you. There is nothing you could ever do to turn his heart away from you. He loves you and longs to have you near. Take a step in the right direction. Dive into the water as Simon Peter did and start swimming towards Him as fast as you can!
• Finally, the Lord and King of all creation wants you to know that He loves to fellowship with you. He came to the beach in search of His disciples, to break bread with them and enjoy their company in the sweet freshness of the early morning hour. He longs for His people to seek Him in the quiet of the early hours without the distractions the world brings. His heart rejoices when we lay aside everything else and knock on His door to say ‘hello’! He wants us to spend time with Him. He is so happy when believers come together to break bread with each other and with Him. Fellowship is important to God, and that is why Paul prayed "May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever more".
Dear friend, receive the Word of the Lord today, and expect to see answers to your prayers. The disciples had given up on having any fish from their night of labor, but then they saw Jesus on the shore. When we acknowledge His presence, power and authority in our lives, every impossibility because possible. He is the Lord of miracles, the God of the impossible, and He is calling you to look His way today!
May you encounter the supernatural presence of Jesus, and see His power and love bringing health, provision, protection and transformation. He is here to make a difference!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 06 February 2012