It’s a remarkable scene. Jesus has (literally) been through the hell-hole of death by brutal Roman execution. Having appeared at least once to the disciples after the Arising, they still don’t recognize Him.
In their defense, I’m sure His followers were experiencing an utter barrage of emotions.
Confusion. Joy. Relief. Astonishment. Exhaustion. Hopefulness. Fear.
Frankly, they more closely resembled the rag-tag assortment of disheveled individuals the Master had first called than any sort of army ready to march for their Death-Conquering Commander.
But it is Peter who carries that burning lump of anguish deep in the pit of his stomach. Peter, so quick to jump out in front of the pack with his passion and boldness. Peter, the one on whom the Master had said the church would be built. Peter, still hearing the soul-shredding echo of the rooster that Dark Night he denied even knowing the Master.
And now Peter is back doing perhaps the only thing he feels qualified to do ~ fishing. Funny thing is, even here he comes up short. He and the other disciples catch absolutely nothing the entire night.
Morning begins to pry open the horizon. There on the shoreline...a stranger, tending a fire.
“Try casting on the other side!” the stranger calls out to them.
They do. And the boat nearly capsizes with the weight of their catch. In an instant, they know who it is. It’s the Master, making breakfast.
The rest of the scene is incredibly moving ~ check out John 21 to see for yourself Peter’s watery lunge towards the Master, and how Peter is lovingly reinstated as leader of the future church.
But for all the drama of the passage, my mind keeps coming back to this image of Jesus making breakfast. After everything they had been through...after everything *HE* had been through...there is no grand sermon or elaborate theologizing, no fancy public display or monument building...simply breakfast.
This is a gentle meal of grace, stripped away from any hint of religiosity or pretense. The worst is known ~ and forgiven. He who redeems, also restores.
Like Peter, there are times when I miserably fail, and not even my old self-generated means of success work any more. At times like this, it’s easy to set myself afloat in the boat of my own disqualifications.
And there on the shoreline, the Master...busy making breakfast for me.
How I need that! Not just once in a lifetime, not just once in a while, but daily.
And that’s the beauty of this meal He offers. Like manna provided to the Israelites as they wandered in the desert, God’s portion is exactly enough. Every day.
Imagine, the Master calling out to each one of us:
"Breakfast is served!"
The long night is over. Let’s hurry to the shoreline. The Master is waiting.