One of the most interesting stories in the bible is the story of the seven disciples receiving their miracle while out fishing in the book of John chapter 21. Especially when you are at that point in your life where you wish Jesus could just show up and give you your own miracle, this is a story one holds on to. If he did it for the disciples he will do it for me too.
One preacher once said we should never focus on why, how and when but on what. Because while the what is for you the rest belongs to God. However, in this story I found myself focusing on ‘why’. What did Jesus want to achieve out of this, because with God everything carries a purpose.
At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. 6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So, they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. 7 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” … John 21
The disciples, especially Simon Peter, had gone on the whole night trying to do what they knew they could do. However, when nothing came up as expected they were tired and frustrated. Makes you wonder how many things you have tried based on your skill, knowledge and experience but none materialised. It makes me think of a person that has the right qualifications; enough experience and well vested knowledge in a specific field but struggling to find a job in their field of expertise. Then Jesus appears, and boom without effort someone just gives you a job, and a very good one.
I always say that some things don’t necessarily need to happen, but for us to learn a proper lesson or get to where we need to be, God makes them happen. Jesus’s appearance was so that the disciples may know that in their moment of weakness and their time of need, he is always there to give them strength as well as provide for their needs. They did not need to have a fruitless night, but for the plan of God to be effective they had to be in a certain position. God had said he will make them fishers of man, and this day Jesus came to set them off on this journey.
10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. John 21
Before sitting down with them to eat, he instructed them to bring some of the fish they had caught. So whatever God gives you, some of it should be brought to him for sanctification, that all may flow as it should. God gives and to acknowledge him as the giver, bring to him what he has given to you so he may sanctify it.
The number of fish they caught is specific, 153.
In biblical terms the number 1 means whole, unity. Many have become one, or many have become whole. God as the Holy trinity is one God. God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit is whole. Jesus the flesh and Jesus the resurrected was the manifestation and fulfilment of a prophecy. Through the fulfilment of the prophecy, God became one or whole again.
The number 5 means God’s grace. Through the fulfilment of Jesus (the prophecy), the grace of God was poured down upon human kind.
The number 3 means completeness. Again, through the fulfilment of the prophecy, the work of God was completed. His plan reached completion.
Therefore, the fulfilment of the prophecy made God whole again, released the grace of God upon humanity and brought God’s plan to completion.
The disciples threw the net and with it came the full plan of God. Jesus had finished his race and appointed others to continue running with the plan. However, he had to set them off. Jesus appeared to set them off on their journey. It was now their responsibility to carry through this already completed plan. He also appeared to equip them with an understanding that he is always there to strengthen them in their time of weakness and to provide for them in their time of lack or need.
9 When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. 12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.
Jesus doesn’t have an issue preparing food for you hey! Before he was crucified he prepared supper for them, and now about to ascend to heaven he prepares breakfast for them.
Before a season of trial and tribulations, you will eat Passover meal (supper) with him. However, before carrying through your call, he will set the table for you. You will have your joy which cometh in the morning. He will provide for you ‘food’ in abundance, to set you off so that you do not lack or look back.
Joy cometh with responsibility, understand your responsibility. So, when your ‘fish’ miracle comes, ask him to lay down the responsibility he is raising you for. It is the understanding of this responsibility that will give you capacity to handle this miracle.