Come to Breakfast

John 21

[7] Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. [8] The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. [9] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

[10] Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

[11] Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. [12] Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. [13] Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. [14] This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

It was John, the beloved disciple, who recognized that such power could only come from one person. When John shouted out his recognition of Jesus, Peter leapt into the water and began swimming toward shore. Peter was not going to hesitate even briefly and miss an opportunity to be reconciled to the Lord.

Jesus had prepared breakfast on the shore. He already had fish and bread for the meal they would share but He invited the disciples to bring some of the fresh catch. The count of the fish was 153.

Many have attempted to establish a symbolic meaning for the number of the fish, but no solid results have been achieved. The best conclusion is that the figure represents the count taken as the fish were sorted, perhaps for distribution among the disciples, and that the record is the remembrance of an eyewitness.

It is significant that the catch was a great blessing and that the net was not torn. The Lord clearly was there to encourage the disciples to know that their time of fishing for men was not over. They were soon to be back in the business of calling people to be received into the Kingdom of God and there was room for a huge number without the net of the Kingdom being torn.

What does this scene tell us? Peter was eager to get right with the Lord. The memory of His failure and betrayal weighed heavily upon him. Peter now recognized that going back to fishing was not a legitimate option. Had he been stubborn, Peter might have insisted on pulling in the catch and showing Jesus what a great and successful fisherman he was. But Peter knew the great catch was the work of the Lord alone.

Peter realized he had been away too long. It was time to move as fast as he could in the direction of Jesus. Run, swim or crawl, Peter was going to get there. There was still some discussion that needed to go on with Jesus, but clearly Peter wanted no more sleepless nights. No more torturing of himself over what he should have said in the courtyard.

Sometimes we get “out of fellowship” with the Lord. It may not be a huge denial like Peter voiced. But we can often get to a similar place through a series of smaller denials. Slowly we find ourselves distant from the Lord, not because He moved but because we did. Not because He stopped listening, but because we stopped praying. Not because of a huge betrayal, but because of a series of compromises.

We can come to a distant place and not really know how we got there, but we find ourselves in spiritually exhausted and empty at the end of a long night. How do we fix it? How do we get things right? We come to breakfast.

Things get right when we realize our need and that the Lord has offered fellowship to us. There are no requirements. No hoops to jump. He offers breakfast on the beach that he has prepared.

Jesus invites us to bring along our “catch”— our gifts and contributions, which He has provided. We have a choice either to stubbornly continue to remain at a distance or come to the shore. Peter chose the fastest route to the shore. He was ready. The distance between him and the Lord was agonizing.

Are you out of fellowship with the Lord? Do you recall a time when you were close to the Lord but over time you have drifted away? He is there. He has not moved or changed. He has made provision and invites your to share in close fellowship with Him again. Come to breakfast.

Lord, I want to draw near to You. I am so grateful for Your gracious provision. I am so grateful for the places of fellowship that You have provided. Thank You for meeting me in the Word. Thank You for meeting me in the fellowship of believers. Thank you for feeding me. Thank you for breakfast on the beach. In Jesus’ name.