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GSFA Devotional: Bread for Our Journey



22 May 2022 



“Now come and have breakfast” (John 21:12)

Welcome to this post-resurrection breakfast! As you may all know that the Lord Jesus had a last meal with his friends before his crucifixion, and after his resurrection, he offers breakfast to his disciples.

In today’s reading, we look at how the risen Lord Jesus Christ invited his tired and frustrated apostles after a tiresome unsuccessful struggle of catching fish in the waters of Galilee.

After a long night of struggling to catch fish, the disciples came out empty-handed. They fished through the darkness which is a special time for fishing, but they caught nothing. The darkness, however, was not just about the night. The darkness was also in the life of the disciples, and the empty net was not only descriptive of their fishing efforts, it was also descriptive of the disciples themselves. They were as empty as their nets in terms of their faith and belief in the resurrection of their leader. Right from Easter morning, they could not believe the story of the women. Some of the disciples like Thomas doubted the resurrection. And, in this story, the disciples have decided to return to their old way of life.

As Christians, we all have such experiences in which, we fish, we work, we do our best but still, come out empty. We have nothing to show for our efforts because we are empty and sometimes tempted like the disciples to go back and try our old ways. The good news is that Jesus shows up when the nets are empty.

Just at dawn, the Lord Jesus appears, the darkness gives way to the dawn of a new day, new hopes and new possibilities. The darkness does not win. The light always prevails. In the light of this new day, Jesus shows himself to his friends and asks them: Haven’t you caught anything?

He knew their struggles and he came closer in order to help them. I just want to encourage all of us that in all our struggles and challenges of ministry, the risen Lord is aware. He is near and he is ready to help.

Let us all be encouraged that whenever darkness has overcome us, whatever darkness and empty struggle we might be going through, Jesus will show himself personally to us. In Him, new life, new hope, and success are possible.

When the expert fishermen came up empty using their own methods, Jesus gave them a simple command: Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will get some (John 21:6)

This simple command was to change the way they did things, and they were suddenly blessed with an abundance of fish that filled their net, about 153 fish. The theological interpretation of this number of fish comes from the 4th-century theologian called Jerome, who wrote that there were 153 different species of fish known in the first-century waters of Galilee. This may mean that the net was not just filled with 153 fish, but 153 different kinds of fish, symbolizing the extent to which fishing for people would go – to the whole world and to all different kinds of people. The capacity of the disciples to catch much fish grew with their obedience to Jesus. Again, I repeat that our capacity to catch much fish will grow with our obedience to the truth of the Gospel.

In verse 10, Jesus told his disciples to: “Bring some of the fish you have just caught’’ (John 21:10)

Jesus was already cooking fish, but he invites the disciples to add their fish to the fish he has already prepared. This means that Jesus uses our God-given talents and adds them to the work he is already doing in our lives. He invites us to share in a feast that he has prepared, using whatever gifts we bring him.

My Dear friends, After the resurrection, the risen Lord welcomes us to a feast that he has prepared for us combining what he provides with what we offer to him. He desires a close relationship and friendship with us and a deep love and strong faith from us. In verse 12, Jesus says: Now come and have breakfast (John 21:12) As he said to the first disciples, he is saying this to us today. He desires a renewed commitment from us and obedience and new life in him.

Contributed by:
The Most Revd Dr Justin Badi Arama

Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan

Chairman, Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA).

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