What Jesus Did! 'The Gift at Dawn' — John 21:4-7

Thursday, December 25, 2014

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.
— John 21:4-7
Illustration of John 21:4-7 — "That man is the Lord."

Key Thought

When we were kids, Christmas morning meant that getting up early was fun! For the disciples, dawn was the end of a hard and discouraging night. A night of work and no fish! Dawn breaks and they know the night has been a waste and they will go to shore empty handed, tired, and hungry. Then Jesus gave them the gift of surprise: an enormous catch of fish and a breakfast on the beach with their risen Lord. Peter was a fisherman. Jesus had called Peter with a large catch of fish. Jesus will call Peter to ministry again with a large catch of fish. Yet most significant at this point in the story, a fisherman gets his biggest catch of fish ever, but leaves it behind as nothing for the sheer joy of being in the presence of his risen Lord. Peter left it all behind to be with Jesus! What about us?

Today's Prayer

Father, I know that you want to be God of all of my life. You want me to recognize that all I have is from you and given to me by you to do your work in the world. I confess to you, dear Father, that there are some things that I hold on to too tightly and don't offer to you for your work as freely as I should. Help me to surrender all that I have and all that I am to you, so that you can more fully use me to do your work in the world through me. 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

Jesus stood beside Lake Gennesaret (Galilee). Many people pushed to get all around him. They wanted to hear the teachings of God. Jesus saw two boats at the shore of the lake. The fishermen were washing their nets. Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon. Jesus asked Simon to push off a little from the shore. Then Jesus sat down in the boat and taught the people on the shore. Jesus finished speaking. He said to Simon, "Take the boat into the deep water. If all of you will put your nets into the water, you will catch some fish." Simon answered, "Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish, but we caught nothing. But you say I should put the nets into the water; so I will." The fishermen put their nets into the water. Their nets became so full of fish that the nets began to break. They called to their friends in the other boat to come and help them. The friends came, and both boats were filled so full of fish that they were almost sinking. The fishermen were all amazed at the many fish they caught. When Simon Peter saw this, he bowed down before Jesus and said, "Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man!" James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were amazed too. (James and John worked together with Simon. ) Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid. From now on you will work to gather people, {not fish}!" The men brought their boats to the shore. They left everything and followed Jesus.

Luke 5:1-11

Then Jesus called the people to him. His followers were also there. Then Jesus said, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me.

Mark 8:34

Jesus saw that all the people were around him. So Jesus told his followers to go to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, I will follow you any place you go." Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests to live in. But the Son of Man has no place where he can rest his head." Another man, one of Jesus' followers, said to Jesus, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first. {Then I will follow you.}" But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the people that are dead bury their own dead."

Matthew 8:18-22

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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.