What Jesus Did! 'What to Do?' — John 21:2-3

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Some of the followers were together. They were Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the two sons of Zebedee, and two other followers. Simon Peter said, "I am going out to fish." The other followers said, "We will go with you." So all the followers went out and got into the boat. They fished that night but caught nothing.
— John 21:2-3
Illustration of John 21:2-3 — "I am going out to fish."   ——   "We will go with you."

Key Thought

What do you do when you don't know what to do? The disciples weren't really sure what they were supposed to do with the resurrected Jesus. This response was to be expected; after all, none of them had ever had a friend rise from the dead and Jesus hadn't yet told them of their mission. Two things, however, are crucial in their response. First, they hung together. They knew they were bound together by something, and Someone, very significant. So they didn't let go of each other. Second, they stayed in Galilee near the Sea—a familiar place and also the place Jesus told them to go after his resurrection. In other words, when all else fails, and you're not sure what to do, stick with other believers and obey the Lord's clear instructions. Doesn't sound very fancy, but it was the key for the disciples meeting Jesus and being called to the next level of mission with him.

Today's Prayer

Father, I confess that I often want things to be spectacular or exciting or inspiring. Yet I know that so often my sense of your presence and my most effective ministry occurs when I go do the next right thing that I know Jesus wants me to do and I do that with other believers. Give me a heart of obedience and a passion to be with your people. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Later, Jesus showed himself again to his followers. This was by Lake Tiberias (Galilee). This is how it happened: Some of the followers were together. They were Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the two sons of Zebedee, and two other followers. Simon Peter said, "I am going out to fish." The other followers said, "We will go with you." So all the followers went out and got into the boat. They fished that night but caught nothing. Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore. But the followers did not know it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to the followers, "Friends, have you caught any fish?" The followers answered, "No." Jesus said, "Throw your net into the water on the right side of your boat. You will find some fish there." So the followers did this. They caught so many fish that they could not pull the net back into the boat. The follower that Jesus loved said to Peter, "That man is the Lord (Jesus)!" Peter heard him say, "That man is the Lord." Peter put his coat around himself. (Peter had taken his clothes off {to work}.) Then he jumped into the water. The other followers went to shore in the boat. They pulled the net full of fish. They were not very far from shore, only about 100 yards. When the followers stepped out of the boat and onto the shore, they saw a fire of hot coals. There were fish on the fire and some bread there too. Then Jesus said, "Bring some of the fish that you caught." Simon Peter went into the boat and pulled the net to the shore. It was full of big fish. There were 153. The fish {were very heavy}, but the net did not tear. Jesus said to them, "Come and eat." None of the followers would ask him, "Who are you?" They knew he was the Lord. Jesus walked to the food. He took the bread and gave it to them. Jesus also got the fish and gave it to them. This was now the third time Jesus showed himself to his followers after he was raised from death.

John 21:1-14

Related Scripture Readings

"If you love me, then you will do the things I command. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper. He will give you this Helper to be with you forever. The Helper is the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him. Why? Because the world does not see him or know him. But you know him. He lives with you, and he will live in you. "I will not leave you all alone like children without parents. I will come back to you. In a very short time the people in the world will not see me any more. But you will see me. You will live because I live. On that day you will know that I am in the Father. You will know that you are in me and I am in you. If a person knows my commands and obeys those commands, then that person truly loves me. And my Father will love the person that loves me. And I will love that person. I will show myself to him." Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But Lord, why do you plan to show yourself to us, but not to the world?" Jesus answered, "If any person loves me, then he will obey my teaching. My Father will love that person. My Father and I will come to that person and live with him.

John 14:15-23

Jesus knew that his followers were complaining about this. So Jesus said, "Is this teaching a problem for you? Then will it also be a problem for you to see the Son of Man going back to the place where he came from? It is not the body that gives a person life. It is the spirit that gives life. The things I told you are spirit. And so these things give life. But some of you don't believe." (Jesus knew the people that did not believe. Jesus knew this from the beginning. And Jesus knew the person that would turn against him.) Jesus said, "That is why I said, 'If the Father does not let a person come to me, then that person cannot come.'" After Jesus said these things, many of his followers left him. They stopped following Jesus. Jesus asked the twelve apostles, "Do you want to leave too?" Simon Peter answered Jesus, "Lord, where would we go? You have the things that give life forever. We believe in you. We know that you are the Holy One from God."

John 6:61-69

So Jesus said to the Jews that believed in him, "If you continue to obey my teaching, then you are truly my followers. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will make you free."

John 8:31-32

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.