The Gospel of John | Day Nineteen
By: Brittany Green | Fishing
I always love the disciples. I relate so well to them because often I’m such a mess like they are. I love studying their reactions because it is often how I react too. And then Jesus is just so patient with them. And us. How many times do we try and do something, live a certain way, and when things get a little too tough, we give up? Or we all can think of those times when a group of your friends is hanging out and you decided not to go because it sounded lame. But once you saw the tweets or snapchats of how fun it was, you regretted staying home and netflixing?
Today’s passage reveals that the disciples, even after walking with Jesus for three years, and having seen Him doing amazing things, having declared He is God in the flesh, and witnessed that Jesus was crucified and now risen—they went back to their normal lives.
Read John 21:1-14.
So we see here that they went back to what they knew, what was familiar. We can’t leave God’s calling when things start falling apart. So many times we’re anxious to hear from God, but hearing God and following through on what He says are two different things. Direction not intention determines our destination. We often intend to listen to God, we ask Him to speak to us and lead us. But do we really follow through? Are we willing to take the steps forward when He gives the word?
We tend to be forgetful creatures. If we don’t see something happening right now, we forget to be patient and we move on. If we don’t think God is working, we forget all the good things He has already done in our lives. We tend to think that if He’s not answering now, we will go back to our old way.
That’s what’s happening to the disciples. They’re maybe a bit discouraged and confused, thinking that Jesus’ life and ministry was over. They went back to what they knew and what was familiar. They were fishermen, so they went to fish.
But when we encounter Jesus, we can’t go back to the way things used to be.
You can’t go back to normal.
So let’s be honest: this is what many of us do, not just the disciples. We have a D'Now weekend or an incredible church experience, and then after a while, we go back to our normal lives and think we’re back on our own again.
Sometimes it feels as if Jesus, who revealed Himself so clearly, is no longer with us. It might feel like He is only available at camp or on Sundays. But Jesus defeated death! This is the greatest accomplishment ever! Because of this we can trust that He can overcome any situation we are going through. We’ve got to keep our eyes on this and not miss Jesus.
Also, we're promised He’s with us till the very end of the age.
This passage is in invitation to you and me to step into the life Jesus offers us. Don’t give up. We have to keep pushing forward, trusting God at His word and for His accomplishment in overcoming death.
The disciples almost missed that promise because they gave up and went back to their regular life. As Peter puts it, “I am going fishing.” He gave up on his calling and went back to the old life.
Sometimes in life we have to reconnect with a past experience to remember. We got lost in trying to be older, in moving onto the next grade, in finding the next accomplishment; and in turn we forget to live in the now. We forget that the same God who has worked in our lives before is still with us today and is able to move in mighty ways in our lives.
“There are no shortcuts for long term effectiveness in the kingdom of God” – Beth Moore
So here’s your challenge: To do the work of the Kingdom and to be reminded of what God has done.
I often need this reminder that I have to keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
Do you need to take a moment to be reminded of what God has done for you?
How are you going to live differently because of what God has done?
How can you live and not miss Jesus?