Appearances of Jesus // Jesus Appears to the Disciples While They are Fishing

  Images by Alyssa Marie Francis

Images by Alyssa Marie Francis

John 21: 1-14

I’ve recently been going through a period of waiting where God has been asking me to trust Him, and after several months where nothing seems to have changed, I don’t always feel like I have the energy to. Other times, I have a hard time believing that He will ever fulfill His promises or rather, I am not able to see Christ working in my life. It seems so easy to just give up hope, but then I hear that small voice inside me say: Just a little bit longer, try one more time. I can imagine that Peter was immersed in a similar time of his life when we find him in this passage from John.

After spending hours out at sea with no success, Peter and the other man were probably exhausted, and frustrated and (if it were me) most likely in desperate need of a nap. But right as they were ready to turn in, there came a strange man with even stranger advice: “Cast your nets on the right side of the boat…”

 I’m sorry, what?

Peter was an expert fisherman; he had done it for years as his sole profession. Don’t you think he would have considered throwing the net onto the other side of the boat? Who was this man telling him to do again the same thing he had already done? Peter knew how to fish, but he couldn’t make the fish bite. So he trusted. Even when he had ever reason not to…

He had just seen the man he knew to be the Christ, the Savior the Jews had been waiting for, willingly die. He had heard from Mary Magdalene that Jesus had risen, but having raced to the tomb, he found himself alone. He had turned away and denied his closest friend leaving him restless and craving mercy. And maybe because of all of this, his trust was small. Maybe he was not really expecting to catch anything this time around because he knew the waters, he knew when he wouldn’t catch anything. But he listened to that faraway voice on the shore and you know what happened?

His net overflowed.

Christ not only gave Peter what he needed to survive, but he gave Him so much more. It was in casting out the nets again and the surprise of them almost tearing from the weight that Peter was able to see his Savior, his friend once more. It was then as he jumped off the boat that he was able to receive the forgiveness he needed. It was as he sat down for breakfast that he found peace.

There will be many times in our lives where God asks us to do something that sounds absurd or counterintuitive, like trying just one more time or hoping just a little bit more. He wants us to respond like Peter—with trust. Even when, or perhaps especially when we don’t feel like we have enough trust to give. Christ will take our little trust and pour out more graces than we could have imagined.

Reflect: How has God been asking you to trust Him recently?

Act: Ask God for the grace to trust Him, especially in the times and situations where it is difficult.