Wednesday within the Octave of the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord
Scripture: St. John 21:1-14 (NKJV)
21:1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”
They answered Him, “No.”
6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
7 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. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”
11 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. 12 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. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.
14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.
What a great reminder God displays for forgetful, fallen mankind. Once before the disciples toiled all night and caught no fish (Luke 5), and now once again they work a whole night with nothing—human effort alone proves fruitless. But with the Lord’s Word the net gets filled on both accounts. The first time Peter doesn’t know what the Lord brings with His all-powerful Word, so he bows in disgrace and rightfully pleads for mercy. The second time he knows that the Lord’s all-powerful Word doesn’t just bring the truth of His Law, it fills the nets and, more importantly, it carries the promise of forgiveness—and Peter yearns for it.
Just as we “cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, or come to Him, but the Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel, enlightened us with His gifts, sanctified and preserved us in the true faith,” so we should know that it is God and His all-powerful Word that is the determiner and supplier of all things needful. Being drawn by faith to His Word and Sacrament ministry, and thankfully knowing what the Lord is delivering, the New Man in us, like Peter, yearns to receive what Christ brings—forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
Prayer: Almighty God, who through Thine Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life, we humbly beseech Thee that, as Thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by Thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.