Friday (April 21): “Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples”
Scripture: John 21:1-14
1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. 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 will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No." 6 He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish.
7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. 9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Meditation: Why didn't the apostles immediately recognize the Lord when he greeted them at the Sea of Tiberias? John gives us a clue. He states that Peter had decided to return to his home district of Galilee, very likely so he could resume his fishing career. Peter was discouraged and didn't know what to do after the tragedy of Jesus' death! He went back to his previous career out of despair and uncertainty. The other apostles followed him back to Galilee.
The gift of faith opens our eyes to recognize the risen Lord Jesus in our midst When was the last time Peter was commanded to let down his net after a futile night of fishing? It was at the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Galilee when the Lord dramatically approached Peter in his fishing boat after a futile night of fishing and commanded him to lower his nets (see Luke 5:4-11). After the miraculous catch, Jesus told Peter that he would be 'catching people" for the kingdom of God. Now Jesus repeats the same miracle. John, the beloved disciple, is the first to recognize the Lord. Peter impulsively leaps from the boat and runs to the Lord. Do you run to the Lord when you meet setbacks, disappointments, or trials? The Lord is ever ready to renew us in faith and to give us fresh hope in his promises.
Skeptics who disbelieve the resurrection say the disciples only saw a vision of Jesus. The Gospel accounts, however, give us a vivid picture of the reality of the resurrection. Jesus went out of his way to offer his disciples various proofs of his resurrection - that he is real and true flesh, not just a spirit or ghost. In his third appearance to the apostles, after Jesus performed the miraculous catch of fish, he prepared a breakfast and ate with them. John's prompt recognition of the Master - It is the Lord! and Peter's immediate response to run to the Lord - stands in sharp contrast to Peter's previous denial of his Master during the night of Jesus' arrest. The Lord Jesus reveals himself to each of us as we open our hearts to hear his word. Do you recognize the Lord's presence in your life and do you accept his word with faith and trust?
"Lord Jesus, you are the Resurrection and the Life. Increase my faith in the power of your resurrection and in the truth that you are truly alive! May I never doubt your life-giving word nor stray from your presence."
1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever! 2 Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures for ever." 3 Let the house of Aaron say, "His steadfast love endures for ever." 4 Let those who fear the LORD say, "His steadfast love endures for ever." 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. 23 This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we beseech you, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech you, give us success! 26 Blessed be he who enters in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar!
Daily Quote for Easter Week: Resurrected Bodies, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"The bodies of the righteous at the resurrection will need neither any fruit to preserve them from dying of disease or the wasting decay of old age nor any bodily nourishment to prevent hunger and thirst. For they will be endowed with such a sure and inviolable gift of immortality that they will not eat because they have to, but only if they want to. Not the power but the necessity of eating and drinking shall be taken away from them... just like our Savior after his resurrection took meat and drink with his disciples, with spiritual but still real flesh, not for the sake of nourishment, but in an exercise of his power." (excerpt from City of God 13.22)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.