L. A. Marzulli
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. John 21: 1-14
I’m sure that some folks who read this will most likely think to themselves: There’s goes Peter, acting like a fool, throwing himself into the ocean. Good grief!
I thought about this passage all week and here’s the reason why. The scene, of course, is after the resurrection and Peter is told by John, It’s the Lord!
Peter has spent the last three and a half years as Jesus’s disciple. He has seen everything imaginable, from multiplying fish and loaves which feed 5000 people, to Jesus Walking on the water.
He’s seen prophecy fulfilled, as with the events of the crucifixion. He’s travelled through time, as he sees Jesus standing with Moses and Elijah discussing his “date” with destiny in Jerusalem.
He’s watched Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. He’s seen blind eyes open, and mute lips speak.
He’s seen storms calmed and he’s paid his taxes by pulling two gold coins out of the mouth of a fish he’s caught—and all because Jesus told him he would find the gold coins in the mouth of a fish!
He’s walked next to Jesus from the Galilee to Mount Hermon.
He’s seen the crowds, seen the worship of the people, heard the dissent of the skeptics and watched the people try to make Jesus King.
He’s seen Jesus grow weary and pray and he’s watched Him weep.
Peter knows who Jesus is and his spirit-man, every ounce of it in him, wants nothing more that to be next Him.
He knows that he is a sinner, like the rest of us, but he also knows his redeemer.
He’s seen him several times now after the crucifixion, once in the upper room, which must have been overwhelming, as it was just a few days after Jesus’s death. Peter and the other disciples thought all was lost and then, when it seems completely hopeless, Jesus walks through the walls and appears to all who are gathered in that room.
In the scene above, Peter is doing what he knows best, he’s gone fishing. Perhaps to get away from everything, and maybe just to clear his head, to sort things out.
When he is told by John that Jesus is on the shore. The last three years he spent with Jesus, click like a row of dominoes toppling over and Peter throws himself into the Sea. He can’t wait for the boat to get to shore. He must get near to the one whom he knows is the God of the universe, the one he loves.
How do we react to this story? Are we expectant? Are we looking forward to His return? Are we looking for our blessed hope, when we are snatched away to meet Him in the air?
I truly believe I too would have dived in the water had I been in that boat.
But here’s another take. When I’m speaking at conferences I have to be really careful when I talk about The Rider on the White Horse. If I’m reading from Revelation 19, I almost always lose it.
There’s a reason for this.
He is my savior. My redeemer.
The one who holds my times in His hands.
He is my King but also—incredibly—my friend. Go figure.
He is the one I am waiting for and I know I will see Him, I will greet Him in the air.
I will get my white horse and ride with my King into the battle that defeats the god of this world.
When that happens, when we ride with Him to the great battle, and the evil one is finally dethroned, I will bow before, Jesus, the King of King and the Lord of Lords, but in the meantime, my spirit calls to Him as loud as it can! MARANATHA!