DON’T MISS…JESUS!

JOHN 2:4-14: “But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. ” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.” NKJV‬‬

OBSERVATION: How many times do we miss Jesus speaking into our lives? I believe the Lord wants to speak to us each and every day. The book of Psalms is replete with reminders that the entire creation is daily proclaiming His majesty and glory. Yet, why is it that we miss God’s voice so often?

I believe the third appearance of Jesus to His disciples, in the closing chapter of the Gospel of John, gives us some practical insight. We so often are waiting for a dramatic encounter with God, like Moses at the burning bush, that we miss the simple and subtle ways God comes to speak to us.

  • “But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.”

Jesus met His disciples on familiar territory. He appeared to them on the shoreline. This was also the place He had encountered Peter, James, and John. It was here that He had called them to become fishers of men. Yet, even on this familiar territory, the disciples did not know it was Jesus. Perhaps it was because of the visibility. Or, could it have been that they were not expecting Jesus to appear to them in such a normal and mundane setting?

  • “Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.”

I find this fascinating. When Jesus appears to His disciples, it is not about principles of the kingdom. He asks them about the most common of human needs – “Children, have you any food?”. It is hard for us to believe that God is interested in the smallest needs of our life. Yet, He is! And, it is in the simple and normal that He so often comes to speak into our lives!

  • “They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. ” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

The disciples no doubt had drifted, not only in their boat, but also in their understanding of Jesus’ calling for their lives. When everything is in flux, when the doors seemed closed, when we are faced with the delays of life, what do we do? We do what the disciples did. We wander back to the familiar. We lay down our calling and once again start thinking about what we used to do. Many times as a pastor, when I was discouraged, I would search out the job listings, wondering if I would be better off doing something else.

Jesus understands our discouragement. He reaches out to His disciples with the same command that He gave them on the day He called them (read Luke 5:1-11). As they lowered their nets, and as they gathered a great catch of fish, John proclaimed to Peter – “It is the Lord!” In this simple and practical command, the disciples were not only reminded about the power of God, but also Jesus’ call for them to become “fishers of men.”

  • “Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.”

In this section of the closing chapter of John’s Gospel we see some dramatic things. Yet, the dramatic comes from the disciples, not from Jesus. Peter, when he heard it was the Lord, did what Peter so often did. He jumped into the water and swam ahead to the boat to Jesus! This was pretty dramatic, as the boat was not far from the shore.

Then, they hauled in a great number of fish, 153 to be exact. This was an unusual and dramatic catch. Yet, even with this large catch their nets were not broken (this also happened when they were called by Jesus). Yet, when they arrived up on shore, what did they encounter? Was it the Lord waiting to teach them and impart word of wisdom to them? No, it was Jesus, standing over a fire of coals, and He greeted them with these words –

  • “…Bring some of the fish which you have just caught…Come and eat breakfast.”

I don’t know about you, but I think I would have been a little bit disappointed with this encounter. Here is the risen Lord, coming to meet the disciples for the third time, and all He has to say is – “Come and eat breakfast!”. Yet, in these words we find such hope and comfort. Jesus comes to us in the everyday events of our life and desires to have fellowship with us. He delights in being with us and speaking to us. Yet, we need to be aware of His presence and always open to the still small voice of the Spirit.

What followed this practical and very human encounter was something with much deeper import and purpose. It was the restoration of Peter. Peter, no doubt, was struggling with denying Jesus three times before His crucifixion. So, Jesus, comes to restore Him three times with His affirmation of love and calling. Yet, Jesus first came to Peter to break bread and have breakfast.

The Lord usually comes to us in very normal and practical ways. It is when we are open to these that He also comes to do a deeper work in our lives.

Lord, please help me hear your voice in the simplest of things in my life. May I see Your hand, Your faithfulness, and Your love in even the smallest detail of life. And, may I always know that it is Your delight to speak to me each and every day. Give me ears to hear I pray.

I don’t want to miss You, Jesus!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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