What’s Next?

Today’s Reading: John 20:30-31, 21:1-14; Mark 16:12-13,19-20; Luke 24:13-35, 44 -53

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. – John 20:30-31

The miracles and conversations recorded in the gospels barely scratch the surface of all that those around Jesus would have experienced. Imagine the long conversations as they sat around an evening fire or walked from town to town. Consider how many miracles and healings the disciples would have witnessed in the three years. Yet these stories were recorded for a specific purpose – so that we might believe and, by believing, experience eternal life.

John tells one more story – the story of the morning Jesus made breakfast on the beach for everyone. The day no one questioned who He was or what He was doing. They simply rested in the knowledge that he was the Lord.

Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there – Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and the two other disciples.

Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”

“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. – John 21:1-3

Can you picture this? The disciples do not know what to do with themselves. Jesus has already appeared to them twice since His resurrection but He is not with them at the time. I imagine they were kind of sitting around in silence, unsure of what to do next. Out of the awkward silence, Simon Peter stands up and declares, “I’m going fishing.” It was what they knew, what they had done before they followed Jesus and what they returned to for comfort when they were unsure of what life held for them next. It must have sounded like a good idea to the whole group because they quickly joined in and followed Peter to the boat.

But something was different this time. The men who knew fishing because they were fishermen were unable to catch any fish. What was going on? Why were the fish not biting on this early spring morning? The life that had previously been marked with familiarity and comfort now brought no results. It was no longer their life.

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them – fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.

“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.

“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead. – John 21:4-14

I connect with this story because I love my morning time with Jesus. He does not make me a delicious breakfast of fish and bread, but He does feed me. He faithfully shows up in my life when I am wondering – What’s next? What does my day hold and what does God want me to do today? When circumstances in my life are leaving me uncomfortable and I miss the familiarity of what I know, I can trust in my Jesus to nourish and provide for me.

I love the study of the gospels because I love the main character so much! I also love what comes next because Jesus continues on as the main character, even after He has ascended back into Heaven. He continued to work THROUGH His disciples and He continues to work THROUGH us.

Do you wonder what is ahead for you? Rest in His presence and enjoy some time with Him this morning. He will lead you and work through you according to His plan.

When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And the disciple went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs. – Mark 16:19-20