John 21 may well be one of the most intimate accounts of Jesus with his disciples recorded for us in Scripture. Peter is the most prominent follower. John hovers in the background, nearly invisible, as he narrates the event and fills in some details. The story is rich with meaning embedded within the action.
The setting is familiar and friendly. Many of us can take our families to the shore…whether lake or ocean…for relaxation and fun, so it’s not hard to imagine ourselves a part of this story. Close your eyes and pull up your favorite beach scene. How does it smell? What do you hear? Feel? A breeze blowing your hair back? Sand between your toes? What birds and other wild denizens are there? (I always see pelicans and sand crabs on the beach of my imagination.) But those men who actually met the Savior on a sandy shore, with clothes damp from being all night in a boat, those men took to their graves the impact of eating a seaside breakfast that Jesus prepared and hosted.
This two part story has provided grist for many sermons and essays. You can find an abundance of written commentaries. But before you check these out, for just a short time, encourage your family members to put themselves into this story and dig out truth that will not be washed away by the waves of doubt and distraction. Don’t forget the Scripture paraphrases that are available to give a fresh perspective on familiar narratives.
Many people find the morning their best time to meet with the Savior, tasting His sweet Word as sustenance to fit them for the day ahead. You can model this for your children and help them, early on, to develop this life habit.
Pray for teachable moments as your kids grow to challenge them to put aside their self-absorbed efforts and accept Jesus’ invitation to feast on the Bread of His Word so available to us for nourishment.
In crisis, Lord, You are so real – as if
Your holiness and my adrenalin in mystic blend
somehow assure me of Your presence.
Of course, I can’t survive perpetual climax.
Mountain tops of glorious white-robed splendor
or naked agony exhaust me.
You say You’re there in sleepy gardens, too?
And lakeside fish bakes
and little happenings
hardly worth a journal’s entry contain your smile?
Yet, You must know I need an avenue of faith
through all my ordinaries
to sense without a doubt You’re near…
to hear your gentle invitation,
“Come and have your breakfast.”