Some guys were sitting around one evening, wondering what to do. They’d been part of a travelling band for a couple years, away from home for long stretches. Recently everything changed. The leader quit traveling with them. And so they were sitting around, sort of waiting for their leader to show up again.
Though there were seven guys, we only know five of the names. Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus. Nathanael, who grew up in one small town, mocked the even smaller town where Jesus grew up. Thomas, who couldn’t take the word of the other disciples that Jesus was alive. James and John, who a few days before the crucifixion asked Jesus if they could be at his right and left hand when he became king.
In other words, these were five disciples with the best reputations for having bad reputations as disciples. (There were other disciples with reputations from before they started following, but these guys got written up while being disciples).
And this night, at Peter’s suggestion, they go fishing. Back to the work they did before Jesus called them.
They had a bad night. No fish. Then Jesus called from shore (about a football field away) and told them to try the other side of the boat.
153 good size fish. Someone counted. Too many to pull the net into the boat. When they slowly rowed the load to shore, they found that Jesus had fixed breakfast.
That night they discovered that the only way they could be successful in their old business was with the help of Jesus. And he didn’t scold, he showed. In a huge way with fish. And in a quiet way, with breakfast.
If you’ve left your nets to follow Jesus, the way forward isn’t going to be by going back.
From John 21:1-14