Through an amazing miracle Jesus revealed His power. He opted for showing Himself to them rather than shoving Himself on them. Not volume. Not marketing. Harsh words might have added to their despair. The miracle, reminiscent of the similar episode so long before, taught the lesson.
Stare at John’s words: “It is the Lord!” His spoken excitement compelled Simon Peter to act. With no desire to conceal his enthusiasm, Peter wrapped his outer garment, dove into the water and traveled the hundred yards like an Olympic swimmer. Peter forgot the fish. His mind was on Jesus. He let the coworkers row in the harvest. He rushed to see his friend. When the boat arrived, Peter reached to drag ashore the net bulging with proof of Christ’s promise.
On the shore they found coals warm and bread ready. They gazed at their Host and knew, for certain, Jesus had invited them to eat.
He gave them what they thought they needed: a catch of fish. But He gave it on His terms, not theirs. He gave them what their bodies needed: food. He prepared it. He served it. Even more crucial, He gave them what they truly needed in the deepest place of their lives: He gave them Himself.
Jesus offered not even a small rebuke. A Chef on the verge of clarifying Peter’s pastoral commission, He shared Himself. A ministry that began in an encounter with men fishing took its realignment to that familiar bargaining table. The staff felt like giving up, like quitting. Their CEO crashed their pity-party and loved them.
All of us are tempted to retreat to safe, secure, more familiar places when initial thrills wane. When we feel too many prayers remain unanswered and too much effort goes unnoticed, we glance around in search of a way out. When pressures of ministry push us to the brink of burn out, we settle for a more comfortable to the flesh, less demanding or challenging role.
The Holy Observer watches us when we sail the boats of resignation. Whether we intend to back off permanently or just in moments of uncertainty, He watches our every move. He knows our every motive. And He loves us.
That’s what Jesus does. He shows up. He glances from the shore as we labor in our efforts to escape. He comes to host us at the breakfast table. He meets us right where we are, even in our weakest moments. His table waits.
The Host has invited us who are still in our boats to ride ashore, or dive in and swim to Him.
He says, “Let’s eat.”