Wednesday, June 18, 2014

John 21:1-3

John 21:1-3
After these things Jesus again revealed Himself to the disciples upon the Sea of Tiberias.  And He revealed Himself in this way.  And Simon Peter was together with Thomas – who was called Didymus, Nathaniel – from Cana of Galilee, the ones of Zebedee, and two others out of His disciples.  Simon Peter says to them, “I am going away to fish.”  They say to him, “We also come with you.”  They went out and they got into the boat.  And that night they caught nothing.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I like the fact that Jesus reveals Himself more than once to the disciples.  So often in our human way of thinking we say that once we experience something it should stick with us forever.  So often we think that once we have that mountaintop faith experience that we’ll never find another valley.  When we do find that valley –oh do we ever find that valley – we like to beat ourselves up.  This is why I love that Jesus reveals Himself to the disciples more than once.  Jesus knows that one time is seldom enough for us.  We get it, then fall into a pit of despair.  Then He comes again, we get it and hopefully a little more.  And then we fall into the next pit of despair.  So He comes and reveals Himself a again.  Well, I think you get the progression, don’t you?  Jesus is not a once and done moment in our life.  Jesus comes again and again and again when we need Him.

How does this speak meaning into your life?  Have you ever beaten yourself up on a day when your faith was weak?  How can this story help you on those days in the future?

Second Thought:

Remember the passages from the last two days where Thomas was excluded?  Another reason that I love this passage is because it shows us that Thomas is included.  Here we see that there is nothing wrong with Thomas.  It’s not like Jesus intentionally missed him the first time or intentionally picked a time when Thomas wasn’t around.  Thomas is a full participant in this story.  In fact, we have five named disciples present and two unnamed disciples.  We don’t even know if the two are of the Twelve or not.  So we have between four and six disciples of the Twelve who are not a part of this story.  So Thomas is in and others are out.  The neat part of this understanding is that not everyone needs to be involved in the workings of Christ.  Sometimes we are a part of it.  Sometimes we are not a part of it.  Our job isn’t to make sure we are a part of everything; our job is to do the part God asks us to do!  Neither is our job to make sure everyone is a part of everything.  Jesus Himself doesn’t even live up to that standard!

Why do we like to be a part of everything?  How can this story help tame our ego?  Why do we like to include everyone else?  Why is it important to realize that not everyone should be involved in everything?

Third Thought:

In verse three we see a humbling moment for these poor disciples.  Remember, they have seen the risen Lord.  They have received the Holy Spirit.  You would think they’d be primed and ready, wouldn’t you?  But that’s not what we get here.  Peter looks to the others and says, “I can’t figure anything else out to do, so I’m going back to my old habits.”  Okay, I grossly paraphrased there.  But that is what they do.  They’ve just had the most amazing experience of anyone’s lifetime.  They’ve seen Jesus arrested, tried, crucified, and risen from the dead.  They’ve been personally filled with the Spirit of God.  And what do they do?  No, they don’t go make disciples.  No, they don’t go tell other people what’s happened.  No, they don’t go heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead.  They go fishing.  I think this is another ultimate facepalm moment for Jesus.  But it is a great moment for us.  Sometimes we just don’t get it.  Sometimes God sets us up perfectly to do His work and we go fishing instead.  Jesus won’t abandon them, even when they have everything perfectly arranged for them and they can’t figure out the identity into which God would rather have them living.  I think the fact that John makes a note that they caught no fish is an admission of guilt after the fact.  God is about to make a point to these disciples and to do so after a night of fruitlessness.

Do you see the short-sightedness of the disciples?  When have you opted to do your own thing rather than make disciples?  How do you think Jesus reacts to those moments?


Passage for Tomorrow: John 21:4-6
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