Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Breakfast Part 3

John 21:7-17

We have reached the end of our three part series called Breakfast. When we last met, Jesus instructed his despondent disciples to revise their fishing methods. After an evening of unproductive effort they caught nothing but attitudes. It’s rare that professional fishermen could fish all night with no return.

Their backs – sore
Their eyes – strained
Their mind – restless
Their stomach – empty
Their hope – questionable

Jesus, from the shore, then directs them to try again before giving up. But this time, do it differently…

5 more minutes

I believe that it is in the moments beyond our natural ability that we experience the supernatural. There was a gentleman that worked in our office that had a unique screen saver. It slowly bounced “five more minutes” in different fonts and colors all over his screen. I worked up the nerve to ask him about the distinctive screen display. He said it was a personal mantra to give exactly five more minutes of concentrated effort right before he felt like quitting. It was a push to perform and prove that at the point of breakdown a break through could occur.  Jesus operates exceptionally well in this area of human frustration. Jesus will take control when we let go and He will do exceedingly - abundantly - far above what we could ask or think.

Love God – Love You!
In John 21:7 it says, “Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord...” I love this verse for two reasons.

1.     John’s confidence is amazing. I read that if you were to ask a random group of individuals to list their top five loves, it is nearly definite that no one would list himself or herself. There is nothing wrong with having a healthy appreciation for you. If we are to treat others, love others, and appreciate others the way we want it reciprocated, we must first discover how to love us and understand what makes us loveable. Which leads to my second reason for loving this verse.
Dinner in Colombia
2.     The bible teaches, But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). Oftentimes our struggle with love and commitment to our loves (family, career, hobbies, etc.) is because we have not worked out our love with God. John knew it was Jesus because He knew Jesus. Not that the other disciples didn’t know Him but at this moment John’s thoughts didn’t cloud the vision of His savior. Jesus is the ultimate example and guide. How many times has he cared for you when you were careless with your love for Him?

Simple Math

The author details that after the fisherman caught 153 large fish (v11), Jesus invited them to breakfast. The immediate assumption is that Jesus is requesting an offering of their catch. Yes but not yet. Breakfast is already prepared when they arrive and there is still more for them to catch/learn.

Just as 5+5=10 so does 6+4. When we invite Jesus to dictate our decisions we do not become mindless robots but informed individuals with the capacity to obtain solutions but in a different and often better way. We must recognize the necessity of His inclusion and be open to Jesus’ teaching.

Give them a fish then teach them to fish…

Lastly, as they are sitting and enjoying breakfast, Jesus asks Peter a direct question. The interesting thing about the exchange between Peter and Jesus goes back to the 3 times Peter denied Jesus followed by a night of fruitless fishing. It is fair to perceive that Peter subsequently felt no longer productive for the advancing of Christ’s kingdom.

I love how Jesus works. Mark 16:7 and John 21:7 are very helpful for the dejected believer. Yes Peter denied Jesus three times and yes Peter had an evening of unproductive effort. However, Jesus is not like us. Instead of rejecting the broken, He builds by knowing how to perfectly reposition even the most messed up parts.

In the book of Mark he specifically calls for Peter’s presence. Then, in the book of John, Jesus asks Peter three specific times if he loved him and upon Peter’s response, Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.”

Jesus gave Peter insight and direction for three years and strategically Jesus asks about Peter’s love the same amount of times that peter denied his love for Jesus. Jesus grabbed Peter’s heart and then had his ear. Jesus is saying I know you love me and now I need you to teach others about the redemptive, restoring, and reviving love that they too can have (the offering).  Don’t allow the fear of mistakes you haven’t made stop you from living the life that was made for you.

You have been given many experiences over the course of your life and I am encouraging you right now to realize that your life’s momentous and messed up moments are tools to teach others about a loving Jesus that saves.

Beyond just being on the water and catching the big fish, the best part of fishing is telling the big fish stories. No one can tell your story better than you. Jesus picked you up when you fell and will continue to lead you when things get dark. – SHARE YOUR FISH…