so they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night...at dawn, Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn't see who he was...when they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them--fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread...Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. there were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn't torn.
"now come and have some breakfast!" Jesus said. none of the disciples dared to ask him,"who are you?" because they knew it was the Lord. -john 21:1-12
he walked on water. consumed a burning bush. rose a man (and himself) from the dead and gave a blind man sight. but one morning by the ocean, Jesus was just a man in a robe, cooking some fish and inviting his friends for breakfast. i found this passage a few weeks ago and it has since become one of my favorite in the entire Bible. because it presents Jesus in ways i don't often think of him.
the great savior who knows the length and number of every hair on my head also enjoys cooking with charcoal, like my dad did in the nineties on his old black grill out back. and as i slink into the very back corner booth during my lunch break, he stood and shouted, not wanting to eat alone. the lover of my soul loves company. and fellowship. and good meat and bread in the morning. i can see the mist of dawn rising over the sea, the sun and moon in that celestial tug-of-war that happens every sunrise. i bet it was chilly, as seaside meals can be. i spent one morning two octobers ago on cannon beach, oregon. robert and i ate scones and looked at haystack rock in the distance. i dipped my toes into the pacific ocean for the first time. a thick haze covered the ground below and in front of us. i like to picture that scene in this story. a master in the mist.
oh but listen to the rest of it! yes, this is one of the most human accounts of Jesus in the Bible. i also love the passage where he prays in the olive grove, bowing down to his Father but also asking if maybe, just maybe, the cup of suffering may be willingly taken from him. but this is a more than mortal experience.
the disciples weren't catching fish. they were out all night scavenging the ocean bottom to no avail. but as soon as they see Jesus and he suggests throwing their net to the other side, they catch more than their net should allow. but it doesn't break. of course it doesn't. as he fed the thousands, he fed his friends. more than enough, but never too much to handle. that's a miracle.
i didn't get too far past the first ripple of the pacific ocean that morning on cannon beach. it was freezing and my toes were bare. but the disciples ran off the boat to Jesus. not only had their savior returned, he was ready with a warm fire and food. alive in the realest sense. and even on the mistiest of mornings, no truth is clearer than this.