April 6, Monday
They took out the boat and spent all night without any success at all. Early the next morning as they approached the shore, someone (they couldn’t tell that it was Jesus) called out and asked, “Any fish?”
“Not a one!” was their answer.
“I believe if you try once more and put the nets down on the right side, you’ll find some!”
What did they have to lose? Hadn’t this happened once before? They followed the suggestion and such a huge number of fish suddenly filled the net that they couldn’t get it into the boat. John looked over at Peter and said, “It’s the Lord!”
When Peter heard it was the Lord, he quickly put on his tunic, jumped overboard, and swam to meet Him. They were just a hundred yards or so from shore.
The rest of them slowly rowed toward land, dragging the heavy net. They were surprised to find a nice campfire with some fish already cooking and some bread. “Bring Me a few of those you just caught, men.” Jesus said.
Peter helped them bring the net onto shore and they just had to count this record-breaking catch. One hundred and fifty-three! There was more than one miracle that morning; the net didn’t break!
“Time to eat!” Jesus announced. Then He distributed the fresh-cooked fish and bread. This was the third time He had appeared to them since He had been raised from the dead.
After breakfast, Jesus took Simon Peter aside. “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” As He asked, He pointed at the fish they had caught.
“Yes, Lord, You know that I love You!” Peter answered.
“Then feed My lambs,” Jesus told him.
“But are you sure that you love Me, Simon?” Jesus asked a second time.
“Yes, Lord, You know that I love You!” Peter replied.
“Take care of My sheep,” was Jesus’ instruction to him.
And then a third time Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
Peter was upset that Jesus had repeated the question a third time and answered, “Lord, You know all things; You know how much I love You.”
“Yes, as a young, independent man you dress yourself and go wherever you wanted to. When you are old, it won’t be that way. You will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and take you places you don’t want to go.” With these words, Jesus was indicating by what kind of death Peter would honor God. “Just keep following Me,” Jesus said.
Peter turned and saw John nearby and asked Jesus what was going to happen to him.
Jesus smiled and said, “If I decide to keep him alive until I return, what difference will that make to you? You just keep following Me.”
Later on, from that statement a rumor started circulating that John was not going to die, but that wasn’t what Jesus had said. John did end up outliving the others and was one of the four who left us a reliable record of Jesus’ life.