Hi its Mick here and welcome to Thursday’s Podcast at STC. We continue today with this week’s theme of ‘encouragement’ as we reflect on the opening verses of John 21. Our reading is John 21:1-14. I have read this Bible passage so many times over the years and I still find them refreshing and life giving – I hope you do to as you read them today. There are several striking verses in this story but our focus verse today is v12 where Jesus says to his friends ‘Come and have breakfast’ – now that’s different isn’t it!
This is the third time Jesus has appeared to his disciples (his fourth including Mary Magdalene). This story seems such an anticlimax after the great events of chapter 20 – the death and resurrection of Jesus and his ‘Peace be with you’ appearance to his friends that we considered yesterday. After these great events I do wonder if the disciples were now thinking ‘So what next Jesus?’ Shall we go and and plant a new church, write new worship songs and change the world? So much to organise like who’s going to preach and lead worship (lots of people in that queue) or who’s going to set out the chairs and make the coffee (not so many people in that queue!).
Jesus has another plan for his friends – go back to your day job; carry on being ordinary. Have you noticed how in the gospel stories, Jesus appears in the ordinariness of simple everyday life? Jesus always meets us wherever we are. So Peter goes fishing, it’s what he used to do and six of his friends join him. We read that Jesus appears on the beach and tells them where to catch fish (v6) – a carpenter telling fishermen how to fish … mmmm, interesting! They do what he says and catch loads of fish. Then this extraordinary invitation from Jesus ‘Come and have breakfast’. Here is Jesus risen from the dead – the one through whom the whole universe came into being – saying to his friends, ‘Come and have breakfast’. Jesus goes further, he cooks the breakfast and serves the breakfast. What an amazingly fun beach breakfast that must have been!
I love breakfast – it’s one of the best times of the day. There’s just something about it marking the beginning of a new day, fresh of the shelf of heaven, never been used before; a new day which is a gift from God so full of potential. It may not appear so if you are racing out of the house to get to work or get the kids off to school or nursery. Tricia and I have three grown up children and five grandchildren so we do know the busyness of a ‘off to work/ kids to school’ breakfast time with the table looking like a battle zone, jammy toast stuck to the carpet and people flinging weetabix around – and that’s just the grown ups! But Jesus is in the ordinary and he still says ‘Come and have breakfast’. He doesn’t expect a magazine perfect table perfectly laid with the finest of foods – he is in our ordinary and he loves jammy toast!
There are many people today who don’t eat breakfast for all kinds of reasons; no time, no inclination and even no money. A growing number of children go to school hungry because they have been unable to have breakfast – it’s not right is it? Most of us can afford breakfast so here is a profound theological truth – if you are a disciple of Jesus, get up slightly earlier and make time for breakfast, it’s more than food it’s a divine appointment! We physically make space (perhaps not a lot!) to begin our day with Jesus and know he is with us. Time over the coffee and chaos to offer a thank you, say a prayer for the day and be encouraged that God is surely with me as I set out into my day! So be encouraged, as you step into your day know that as you consume your tea and toast his peace and presence will be with you and those you love and your day will be so much better for it.
Thank you Jesus for this reminder that you are the God of the ordinary who always invites me to breakfast! When you are present you turn my ordinary into your extraordinary. In all the busyness of life help me always find space to welcome you in. Amen
Afterwards 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 realise 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 round him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred metres. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ 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. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.