After Jesus’ resurrection some of the disciples, at a loss for what they should do, decided to go fishing (Jn 21:1-3). It was what they had always known; they were fishermen by trade before they started following the Lord. You might remember that Jesus called them to ministry by telling them He would make them “fishers of men” (Matt 4:19). So off to the boat they went, but their fishing expedition was fruitless, they fished all night but “caught nothing” (Jn 21:3) As they were returning to shore a man stood on the water’s edge. He called out “Friends haven’t you any fish?” (v. 5). When they said no, He told them “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some” (v. 6). And the catch was so large they couldn’t haul them in.
That was when John realized who the man was – “It is the Lord!” (v. 7). Peter abandoned the boat and jumped into the water to get to Jesus. When the crew and the boat reached the shore they all had breakfast together (v. 12). The Scripture says, “None of the disciples dared ask Him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord” (v. 12). This passage goes on to detail how Jesus reinstated Peter after the disciple’s betrayal and that is one of my favorite accounts in the Bible. But something different stood out to me this morning.
Before He called out to them from the shore, John said, “The disciples did not realize that it was Jesus” (v. 4). Their eyes were opened after the miraculous haul. Fishing then was very hard work and a fruitless night of fishing would be exhausting and discouraging. I can just imagine these weary fishermen coming in with downcast faces and bent shoulders. Much like you and me sometimes. Life can be so hard. Exhausting. Discouraging.
And then something happens and we realize “That’s Jesus!” The disciples had no idea that it was Him. Until after the miracle. We don’t either until He shows Himself in glory and power. This may be a difficult season for you. You may be exhausted and discouraged. But Jesus is there and He’s about to pull off the miracle you need. You may not see Him yet Beloved, but keep scanning the shore. Keep looking up. He said He’ll be with you always (Matt 28:20) and He never breaks a promise.