Bible Reading: John 21:2-7
Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas, 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!".
As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
The death and resurrection of Jesus took place in Jerusalem, in the south of Israel but on the first Easter morning the angels had told the women to tell the disciples that he was going ahead of them to Galilee, in the north, the region that most of the disciples came from.
Now, in these verses, seven of the remaining eleven disciples are back in Galilee, and Peter decides to go back to what he knew best: fishing. The others decide to go with him. Bear in mind that Peter has denied he is a follower of Jesus in the courtyard and then deserted him at the cross; he is carrying a lot of unresolved issues.
They are out on the lake all night, but their fishing expedition is fruitless and they catch nothing. I wonder whether Peter starts to remember a previous time when this happens?
Then, in the morning, a man on the shore suggests they throw their nets out on the right side of the boat. Is this ringing any bells? Then, lo and behold, they catch so many fish they can't haul them all in, an almost exact repeat of the day Jesus first called the fishermen to follow him.
Even now it takes John to recognise that it is Jesus on the shore, but it is impetuous Peter, the denying and deserting Peter, who jumps into the lake and heads for Jesus.
At different times all of us can struggle as followers of Jesus; in an awkward situation we may deny we are a Christian, either by what we say or by what we do. At other times we may go AWOL from the things he has asked us to do or from the people he has asked us to support. And sometimes, like Peter going fishing, we find ourselves going back to things or attitudes that he has previously called us away from.
If that is the case, be encouraged, don’t hesitate. Like Peter, throw off anything that gets in the way and jump in, for Jesus is on the shore just waiting for you to turn back to him, just waiting to receive us back into his embrace.
Lord, forgive me for the times I have wandered away from you and let you down.
Thank you that you are always there on the shore waiting to welcome me back.
Lord, I come to you