SCRIPTURE: John 21:1-14
Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
21 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, 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 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.
Gary D. Jones poses that “Of course, we have to have eyes to see, and it is notable that only one of the disciples recognizes Jesus on the shore. All of them see the Lord, but only one of them, the Beloved Disciple who reclined at Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper, recognizes the Lord. The pastoral implications of this are potentially enormous. Could it be that ‘reclining with Jesus,’ spending tender time with the Lord in prayer, resting our mind at his heart and breast … could it be that such quiet immersions of ourselves in the presence of God are the key to recognizing God in our daily lives and ordinary routines? Could it be that our more impetuous inclinations—wanting to build three booths on the mount of transfiguration or needing to go fishing just to keep busy—could it be that our need to stay on the move and remain productive, instead of “wasting time with God” in prayer, often keeps us from recognizing the presence of the Lord in our lives?”
For me, this reflection by Jones echoes the reminder and importance of Sabbath time. Even God rested after creating the world and all the creatures in it. Resting our minds and hearts, not just our bodies, is important not only to our spiritual health and well-being, but also our physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being. Even when we have the best of intentions like “build[ing] three booths on the mount of transfiguration,” we must remember to attend to all aspects of growing and nurturing our faith.
Are you making time for quiet prayer, or is it hard for you to step off the treadmill of your busy life to simply rest in God’s presence? Even in this time of social distancing and sheltering at home, it can be challenging to set aside time for important things like prayer. Take ten minutes for prayer today.
God, we seek the wisdom that comes from spending time alone with you. Teach us to recline with Jesus so as to recognize your presence more clearly. Strengthen our focus to dedicate time each day in prayer, devotion, and spiritual growth. Amen.