This event by the side of the lake reflects a similar story told at the beginning of Luke’s Gospel (I think). The disciples have spent the night fishing and have failed to catch anything. At a word form Jesus they throw out their nets one last time and the nets are filled to breaking point. It is quite clear to me that here we are being invited to reflect upon the consequences of obedience to the Word of God. If we follow His will then our lives will be fruitful to an extent we can hardly imagine; if we are just acting upon our own wisdom, we may or may not bear fruit in our lives. We should never forget the power of the Word of God and, at the same time, always seek to put it into practice in our lives.
John recognizes the person on the shore as Jesus when he sees the extent of the catch. Perhaps he is remembering back to that earlier event three years before? Whatever is the case, it is a reminder to us to keep an open mind at all times as Jesus may appear to us in as simple an act as catching fish and manifest His glory for all to see. Peter the impetuous one cannot wait for the boat to get back to shore so he dives into the water to go and greet Jesus. It probably would have been quicker to stay in the boat than to swim with all his robes on to the shore, but then again, that is Peter for you!
They then share a meal with Jesus but they avoid asking Him who He is. This indicates a certain mystery surrounds the resurrected Jesus. There is enough the same for the disciples to recognize Him, but there must also have been an ‘otherness’ to the appearance of Jesus. In the same sort of way Jesus will appear to us in the daily events of our lives – both in forms we easily recognize and those that have a different quality to them.
Am I truly open to recognizing the hand of God at work in my life or do I tend to be skeptical of such ideas?
Father, I know you love me and want to guide my life according to your will. Help me to be open to your word and guiding hand so that I will recognize their presence each time you appear.