Don’t Give Up!

The Gospel for May 1, 2022

21 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yardsa] off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Written by Pastor Phil Beck
Grace be unto you and Peace from God the Father Almighty and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Last week I spoke a little bit about doubt and how that affected us in ministering to others and our participation in the Lord’s Supper.  In today’s Gospel we have three of the biggest doubters together again by the sea trying to figure out their next move.  First, there is Peter who denied Christ during the Passion, second there is Thomas who doubted Christ had appeared to the rest of the group, and third there is Nathaniel who doubted that anything good could come from Nazareth.  Peter who denies Christ is on the boat, Thomas and Nathaniel who doubted are on the boat.    Peter says let’s get back to doing what we were used to doing and familiar with to put our lives back together only to have that disrupted by Jesus.  One of the fallacies we hold to is that we can put things back together and make things right, yet when we lose someone we can’t always figure out how to put the pieces back together.  We often hold on to things that were comfortable to us in the past and don’t move forward.

This passage comes after Jesus has appeared twice to the disciples, thus affirming his risen presence in their lives.  Yet these fishermen are not quite sure how to move forward without someone there holding their hand because they are fearful for what their journey forward looks like.  So what do they do, they do like most of us when we are unsure of a path forward, they do what they used to do and went fishing.  The disciples went back to what was comfortable to them and the thing they believed would get them through the devastation of losing their teacher. 
Continue on this journey with Pastor Phil and the three doubters with the full sermon here on YouTube.