The disciples got out of the city and went back to Galilee, probably a smart move. One evening at the Sea of Galilee, Peter suddenly announced that he was going fishing, and all seven of them got into a boat and went out on the lake; John doesn’t say anything about the other four, and course Judas was dead. After an all night fishing trip, they caught exactly nothing.
Very early the next morning, a man on the shore saw them and asked how they were doing, only to hear that they hadn’t caught a thing. “Try casting your net on the right side,” suggested the helpful man, which they did. Lo and behold, they had a huge catch! That is also when it occurred to John that the man on the shore was none other than Jesus.
Peter grabbed his clothes and jumped into the water and struggled to swim to shore to meet Him while the other guys struggled to haul their catch to shore where they encountered a shocking sight: Jesus was indeed there and He had a cook fire going: The risen Savior of the World was cooking breakfast!
Who’d have thought that after having been crucified, buried and then rising again from the grave that Jesus in His great glory would trouble Himself with cooking breakfast? Yet there He was; He had some fish and some bread, and He called to the guys at the boat to bring some of the fish they had caught so He could cook them up for the guys.
They all sat out there on the rocky beach and ate breakfast.
Take a moment to let that sink in…
Most of the time when I hear sermons that mention this passage, the preacher says that this proves that Jesus rose bodily from the grave, and I must admit that this is true; spirits and ghosts don’t eat fish, and I would have to add that they also don’t cook, but there is so much more on display here.
There were seven disciples present, as I have mentioned, but seven is the number of completeness in the Bible; they represented all followers of Jesus. Jesus had some fish and some bread that He was serving by the Sea of Galilee; does this remind you of anything?
Of course, it’s just like the story of the feeling of the 5,000 where the disciples gathered up some loaves of bread and a few fish and Jesus multiplied them so that they could feed 5,000 people and have more left over than they had started with; remember?
There is a crucial difference however, for before, the disciples gathered up a little, and Jesus multiplied it. This time, Jesus had a little and the disciples multiplied it… with a little help from Jesus. In this scene, Jesus was passing the torch to His disciples, and the torch was His Kingdom. From now on, Jesus, the embodiment of the Kingdom, was no longer the one who would present the Kingdom to the world, with all that entails, for it was now His disciples who embodied the Kingdom on the earth, and with a little help from Him, they would spread it to every corner of the globe.
The Kingdom of God rose from the grave with Jesus, and now it is with us. From that time to this, it is the followers of Jesus who are entrusted with building His Kingdom on earth. From that time to this, it is His followers who bring that Kingdom to the world, and that Kingdom still brings with it healing, wholeness and God’s love and mercy to a world that needs these things so desperately: In doing so diligently, we bring glory to God.
It is my hope that your Resurrection Sunday will be both glorious and inspiring, and that as a result you will join me and rededicate yourself to redoubling your efforts to glorify God by doing your part to build His glorious Kingdom until He returns.