In Isolation Thoughts 2

Hymn: Does Jesus care…

Bible Reading: John 21.1-14

Did Jesus really rise from the Dead?

It would seem that for at least part of the Easter Day, the disciples were unsure of the Resurrection. Jesus had appeared to some of them if we combine all the gospel accounts. The women at the tomb early in the morning saw Him, Mary Magdalene met Him in the garden, Peter met Him at some point that day as well. It was not until the evening when He appears in the room in Jerusalem, that they are convinced of His Resurrection. Even then Thomas did not accept it. What about the two on the road to Emmaus, they had heard rumours that He was alive but were not convinced until they sat down with Him at the meal table. Put all this evidence together and we build up a picture of the reality of the Resurrection.

However, in the years following that event in 29AD(?), there have been many people who investigated the records of the Bible and contemporary records in attempts to disprove the event and show it was a myth. In the last century, Frank Morrison did just that, he explored all the records he could find. In 1930 he published the first edition of his book, ‘Who moved the Stone?’ concluding that the Resurrection was fact not myth, Jesus did rise from the dead. It has been reprinted many times since, the last in 2006. He also explored the role of Pontius Pilate in the event, publishing, ‘And Pilate said…’ in 1934, in which he again finds the facts fit the Bible records. People were struck by the truth found in his writings, including a fellow author, G K Chesterton, who encouraged Faber & Faber to publish the original version.

In our passage from John’s Gospel, we see recorded in v 14, that this event in Galilee, was the third time that Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. If we compare this event with other sea or fishing events recorded in the Gospels, we see little had changed from how Jesus dealt with His followers. He was still the same caring, concerned man, who knew the feelings that drove the disciples, He had acted previously to restore their faith when they had doubts. There is no doubt that Jesus had risen from the dead.

In their unsure minds they needed security, they went out to do something that they knew they could do. They were fishermen, they had not lost the love of the lake. Peter said that he was going fishing, the others agreed and went with him. All night, the professional, seasoned fishermen fished with their nets, but they caught absolutely nothing. This was a disaster, they had families to support, they were unsure of the intentions of Jesus, they had to do something.

Do we sometimes have the same feelings, unsure of what is going on in our lives, needing reassurance and security. We will often turn to things that are familiar, things that bring us satisfaction, but afterwards we find nothing has changed, we are no clearer or certain about the future. The night’s fishing brought more dissatisfaction, more hopelessness, they had failed at something at which they had been previously very skilled.

Now in the dawn’s misty light, they saw a figure on the shore. He saw the fishermen and asked an obvious question, “Have you any fish?’ You can imagine their reluctant answer, ‘Sorry, no fish.’ He then gave them advice, ‘Try the other side of the boat.’ You can imagine the reaction from them, did they question who this stranger was giving them fishing advice? Did Peter say to the others, ‘WE ARE FISHERMEN, WE KNOW BEST.’ There must have been some debate, but eventually, perhaps to humour Him, they tried His suggestion. WOW! That’s where the fish have been hiding! The net was so full, they couldn’t haul it into the boat, they had to tow it to the shore. It all clicked in John’s mind, it could only be Jesus! He told Peter, who immediately jumped out of the boat and waded to the shore.  What changed the situation? The presence of Jesus.

In our lives, we need the same, the presence of Jesus. He can change the situation from disaster to triumph, from sadness to joy, from loss to gain. How willing are we to allow the stranger on the shore to give us guidance? In the mists of our lives, do we see Jesus waiting for us?

The story doesn’t end there. They get the catch to the shore, only to find that breakfast is already prepared for them. A fire, with fish cooking and there was bread as well. Jesus asks them to bring some of the catch to add to the fish that was already cooking. They all shared the fish and bread, they didn’t need to question who He was, they knew it was the Lord. They now had security from meeting the Risen Jesus.

When Jesus comes into our lives, He uses what we have to supplement what He provides. He uses our skills and talents for His purpose.

How insecure are you today?

Are you willing to allow Jesus to come into your life and make a change?

Are you willing to accept the offer of eternal life from the One who died for your sin?

Will you let Him use your skills in His service?

Think what might have happened if the disciple in the boat had refused the advice.

Think what will happen if you refuse.


Hymn: When I get to the end of the road

Page last updated: 17th April 2021 8:51 PM
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