21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”
I had planned to move further into the story today but when I went back to the beginning of the chapter to review and keep the full context it mind new things leapt off the page. I can't believe how much I missed and it makes me wonder how much more I have missed all the way through. That's why His Word is such an adventure. The deeper you go and the more you explore it the more He reveals.
Check this out:
The disciples went fishing at night, in the darkness. It gave them nothing. The darkness has nothing to offer. Then morning broke and Jesus was there. He is the Light of the world. Immediately He asks them if they have any food. He already knows they don't but they need to express it. They need to acknowledge their emptiness so that they ate prepared to listen, open to listen, when He shows them the right way. He is the right way. He is the food of life.
Thinking they have lost their chance to be with the Bread of life, they have returned to their old life, seeking the food that doesn't satisfy. Groping around in the dark they are trying to replace what they have lost.
The point is Jesus doesn't leave them in their darkness or emptiness. He comes bringing morning and light with Him. He immediately exposes their need and then gives them the guidance on how to fill it.
Notice that point. There are so many endless and often circular discussions in Christianity about what we are supposed to do. Some say we must follow the laws of God if we are truly Christians. Others say Jesus has fulfilled the law and we don't need to do anything. Both arguments are self-focused which is why we continue to go around and around and never get to an answer that truly satisfies.
Jesus could have had all the fish jump onto the beach and lay down. He could have but He didn't. He could have created a bunch of fish from nothing like He fed the 5000. In other words He could have filled their need entirely by Himself but He did not. He challenged them to cast their nets on the right side. Why? Because their need wasn't fish or food, it was renewed trust. By inviting them into the process He was inviting them to trust Him. He was giving them an opportunity to see Him work for their benefit. This is the work God wants from us. To actively believe. Sometimes active belief means standing still and trusting God will take care of us. Sometimes actively trusting means giving something of great value to us away and knowing He will make it all work out. Sometimes actively trusting means investing in someone else. There is no textbook answer as to what our trust journey with God will look like because it is ever changing. The only time it looks the same is when God brings us back to an identical point because we didn't fully grasp the lesson that was to be learned there the first time.
This morning on water with empty nets becoming so full they couldn't bring them in without help was a repeat moment. Jesus was rebooting their fractured faith.
We'll journey deeper tomorrow.