“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 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. 7 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. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.“ John 21.4-1
It’s the final miracle of thirty seven recorded in the Gospels on the life of Jesus. Thirty seven miracles both spectacular and specific to the Savior. Thirty seven acts of mercy, compassion and authority that Jesus performs while on this earth.
This final miracle is after the resurrection. It’s after the passion, the arrest, the betrayal by the disciples. After everyone else had given up on Jesus except his few followers and some faithful Jews.
The disciples have returned to fishing. Either they knew that following Jesus wasn’t for the long-haul, or this was what most of them were familiar with. They returned to the lake, where they lived, and went back to fishing for fish, not people. Let me be clear, this wasn’t what three years had taught them — to return to fear and familiarity. It wasn’t what Jesus intended.
But here they are and Jesus sees them. He calls out to them from the shore, “Have you any fish?”
Really, Jesus? “Have you any fish?”
He knew the answer before he asked it! And that same phrase, “Have you any fish?” was one he had used before with these very same disciples. The answer comes from the boat, “No.” For the scripture tells us they did not realize that it was Jesus who was asking.
As soon as the large haul was gathered, Peter, who just realized it was the Lord, put his clothes back on and jumped into the water, swimming to Jesus. When the disciples landed, Jesus had a fire going with fish on it and invited them to bring some of their own fish to the morning breakfast.
Talk about a miracle! Yet I wonder what was more of a miracle? The haul of fish is impressive but it’s nothing compared to the resurrected Christ sitting on the beach making breakfast for men who only days before abandoned him. The haul of fish was an indicator that God was in their midst and that he can do anything.
At the end of our thirty-seventh miracle, I wonder whether your dependence upon the Lord has changed? What is it that has caused you to put your faith in Jesus? What miracle is most impressive to you? Which speaks to your heart?
Jesus’ display of power and authority through miracles isn’t just for show but it’s to develop our faith, our trust and our dependence upon him. He loves you with an everlasting love and has and will do anything to draw you to himself.
As we wrap up this study on his miracles continue to lean into his love. Allow the Lord of all Miracles to take up residence in your heart by his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, you are so faithful. You are just and loving. Even when we turn away, you remain steadfast. I am so looking forward to seeing you face to face. Ending the pain and suffering on this earth is my prayer. Come now, Holy Spirit, show up in power! The same Jesus who performed thirty seven miracles so long ago is alive today. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen