After - Day 18

John 21:10-14

10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.

153 large fish seems like a great big haul! The fact that the net did not break is pretty amazing. Not that I know much about fishing nets, but the way that this story is written, the net not breaking is pretty important. In fact, there are a lot of theories about the number of fish, but that is not really as important as the miraculous net keeping from breaking. 

Jesus speaks first, with a second command to get the fish. While it seems that he spoke to everyone about it, it was simply Simon Peter who went to get the fish. It must have been a big job! 

Throughout this entire scene is this idea of great awe in the minds of the disciples. So much, in fact, that they are afraid to even ask him who he was. Part of this was due to the fact that they had a pretty clear understanding of who this was. However, it would have been hard for them to be able to assimilate what they knew about life and death and how this could be Jesus at all. 

At the end of this pericope, we see the narrator say that this is the third time Jesus had appeared to the disciples since the resurrection. However, this is not true, it is actually the fourth time that John mentions that Jesus appeared. There are many theories, ranging from the disciple being wrong, to simply misunderstanding how he counted the appearances of Jesus–with everyone there, or did he count the ones when not every disciple was there? What about the encounter with Mary Magdalene, does that count? 

I’m not really sure that it matters too much. What I do think matters is the Lordship of Jesus and the assent to fellowship through a shared meal. This is important in that  we can see that Jesus not only wants to appear to us, but also wants fellowship with us. The meal indicates this desire. 

  1. Do you think the discrepancy in how many times Jesus appeared matters? 
  2. Why would it, or why wouldn’t it? 
  3. Is fellowship with God important in your life? How does it play out? Devotional life, church attendance, study time? 
  4. What do you think of this particular narrative and what would it have done for early believers? 
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