The Miraculous Catch

Celebrating God’s Miraculous Abundance at Good Shepherd

On Sunday, we considered the story as told in the Gospel of John, the 21st Chapter.

1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin,[a] Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 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.

4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6 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. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards[b] off.

9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 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. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

In this passage, we have 7 of the disciples at work. These are not men for a weekend of recreational fishing; they are professional fishermen. This is their job. And it’s going very badly. The nets are empty, and they begin to despair. We can imagine that they prayed during the night for God to offer some help. Without fish, there is nothing to eat. Suddenly, someone appears at the shore and asks them about their catch. He instructs them to fish in a different place.  They listen and haul in a miraculous abundance of fish! Of course it was Jesus.

Dear Lord, bless our generous response to your bounty & multiply its impact to our world.


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Watercolor by Sarah Hempel Irani