A Bible Reading: John 21:1-7
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"
There is something familiar about this resurrection appearance of Jesus; it is an echo of the time Jesus first called his disciples, as recorded in Luke 5. Then they had been fishing all night and caught nothing, and Jesus told them to go and fish in the deep water and they caught so many fish that they needed two boats to land the catch.
And now, after the traumatic events for both Jesus and his disciples through his arrest, trial and crucifixion, and the disciples’ desertion, denial and betrayal, Jesus appears to them in a similar way. A reminder to them of his original call on their lives and a statement that, however they have let him down, it is possible to move on; there is always forgiveness.
Whatever we have been through in life or at this present time, Jesus’ call on our lives remains unchanged. He has a plan and a purpose that supersede both our past failings and our present circumstances.
When life is difficult, when we are prone to doubt God’s love, or even his existence, let us look back and remember his original call to us, ‘Follow me’, and let us, in faith, throw our nets on the right side of the boat and get on with the task he has set us. Who knows what he will achieve? After all, as Peter realised, he is the Lord.
Father God, I bring to you my doubts, my failings and my disappointments and I thank you that, through Jesus, there is forgiveness and a new start. Give me the faith to continue following you day by day so that, together with my fellow Christians, I may fulfil the plans and purposes you have for my life.