Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 9th April 2021: The risen Jesus in Galilee: 1

Disciples Jesus Resurrection John 21

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 21

Fishing boat

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way.... Simon Peter said to them, 'I am going fishin' 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 broken. Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.'... Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. It 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)


Looking at the water in front of me, I was thinking of its different names - the Sea of Galilee, or Lake Tiberias, or Kinneret Sea - being just a few. It's a freshwater one, the lowest on earth, and is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. But I was also reminded of Jesus and his disciples on the lake, when a fishing boat with a red sail came out of nearby Capernaum.

At the time of Jesus fishing involved a number of men, and was hard, physical labour, using nets - either a seine net close to shore or a trammel net between two boats further out. It was often carried out at night using lamps, and it could be a fruitless task.

This resurrection incident shows us the risen Jesus engaged in normal things, lighting a fire, and sharing and eating bread and fish. We are also reminded of Jesus' words that the disciples will become "fishers of men". In John's gospel every incident has a meaning, and the number of fish perhaps indicates that the disciples working together have caught all the varieties of fish in the lake. In the same way, when they take the good news to to the world, they will need to work together. Sometimes it will be unrewarding, and they cannot be fussed about whom they catch, for God will separate the good from the bad in the end.


Lord Jesus,
may we, like the disciples
learn to become fishers of people,
and find out how to share the gospel
with others with whome we come into contact,
through the simple everyday things of life.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look at photos of what a boat in the time of Jesus might have looked like. A first century boat was found buried in the mud of the lake in 1986 in Israel, and the models shown are based on the actual boat discovered.

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