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

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Several of the disciples were there [by the Sea of Galilee] — Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said, "I'm going fishing." "We'll come, too," they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
— John 21:2-3 NLT

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. Their confusion was to be expected; after all, they were in new, life-altering circumstances. However, we should notice two things that were crucial in their response to Jesus:
  1. They stayed together. They knew they were bound together by something, and Someone, very significant. So they didn't let go of each other. While only seven disciples are mentioned here, [1] we hear of all of the 11 remaining apostles, some women, and some other men gathering with each other. [2]
  2. They stayed in Galilee near the Sea — a familiar place and also the place Jesus told them to go after his resurrection. [3]

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 Lord's disciples. These two commitments helped them move from despair to passionate hope and from confusion to living on mission for Jesus.

[1] There were two "sons of Zebedee." (Matthew 27:56)
[2] Acts 1:13-14.
[3] Matthew 28:16.

Today's Prayer

Father, I confess that I often want things to be spectacular or exciting or inspiring. Yet I know that frequently my sense of your presence and my most effective ministry occur when I do the next right thing that I know Jesus wants me to do and I do it with other believers. Give me a heart of obedience and a passion to be with your people both in times of group worship and study and in times of Christian service to others. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 14:15-23
  • John 6:61-69
  • John 8:31-32


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Illustration of John 21:2-3 NLT — "I'm going fishing."   ——   "We'll come, too,"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.