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Elmhurst CRC
Friday - Jesus and the Fisherman
April 01, 2016 Elmhurst CRC

Welcome to the Elmhurst CRC Devotional Experience. It’s Friday, the sixth day of Easter week Our scripture reading today comes from John 21:1-14 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 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. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. When Jesus first met his disciples, many of them were fishermen. But they left their boats and nets to follow him and go fishing for people instead. After Jesus had died and risen, the disciples were so confused that they were tempted to return to their old life. “I’m going fishing” Peter said, and the rest went along with him. They spent a night fishing on the Sea of Galilee and caught absolutely nothing. As the sun came up, Jesus appeared on the shore and called out to them to try casting their nets out on the right side of the boat. They did and pulled in a huge load of fish, 153 to be exact. Perhaps because this was an almost exact repeat of the scene when they first met Jesus, they recognized that it was their Lord calling to them from the shore. As the sun was rising over the eastern shore of of the lake, the light of truth was beginning to rise in their hearts. When they got to shore, Peter was so excited that he hauled the entire net of 153 wriggling fish onto shore by himself. Jesus invited the disciples to share in the breakfast he had prepared: there were coals burning with fish and with fresh bread. Earlier the disciples had wondered if Jesus could eat fish in his new body (see Wednesday). Now Jesus proves that he can not only eat, but he can also cook. More importantly, Jesus demonstrates that he has risen to provide for the needs, body and soul, not only of the 11 remaining disciples, but the needs of his church. That’s us! Perhaps you know that the fish is an ancient Christian symbol. It’s amazing how often fish figure into the resurrection stories of Jesus! The Greek word for fish is "I-X-TH-U-S” (“TH” is one letter, theta, in Greek). Taken as an acronym in Greek, the five letters stand for the first letter of the words, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Find a dark or dim place nearby. Bring along six sources of light for the sixth day of our experience. As the light begins to push out the darkness, speak these words: “Out of the darkness of the tomb, the light is shining. Jesus is the light of the world.” If you can, sing a verse

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