After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 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 after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to 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 there were so many fish.....
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish 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, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, new Revised Standard Version)
Our reading from John's Gospel is a lesson in obedience. Jesus has told the disciples to go to Galilee (Matthew 28.5-7) and to wait for him there, and this they do. But they are restless, we might say they are directionless without guidance from Jesus. They have obeyed his command to travel the three to four days from Jerusalem to Galilee but now what should they do? Maybe the seven disciples need to fish to earn money for their keep, indeed perhaps the charitable giving of his followers has dried up after Jesus' crucifixion. It is interesting to see that despite his fall from grace in denying Jeus, Peter is again the leader.
When Jesus 'appears' in another rather strange manner, it takes an instruction from him for them to act. They have caught no fish, but he tells the tired men to "Cast the net to the right side of the boat". Only then are they successful in catching fish. The huge haul appears to be a parable for the people they will attract to the Gospel once the Holy Spirit comes upon them at Pentecost.
Today, the question is how often have we been like the disciples? How often have we decided to carry out an action without involving God, thinking that we know best, and how often does it prove to be a failure? We are far more likely to be successful if we 'take God with us' as it were! His guidance is what we need when in doubt.
Lord Jesus Christ,
help us to remember to ask for Your guidance
in all that we do,
and not to try and live our life without involving You.
Help us to put You first,
before we makes plans,
and to listen to that still, small, voice
that teaches us to the right way to go.