Breakfast on the Beach

Theme: Following Jesus brings great rewards. 3rd Sunday of Easter, Yr. C
Object: A rod and reel and other fishing gear
Scripture: He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:5-6 (NIV)

Do you enjoy fishing? I have heard some people say that they enjoy fishing even if they never catch a fish. They say that they just enjoy the peace and relaxation of fishing. I will have to confess, it doesn't sound like much fun to sit in a boat holding a fishing pole without ever catching any fish. How about you? Imagine that you have been sitting in a boat fishing all night without catching a single fish. As the sun begins to come up you can see someone standing at the edge of the water.

"Hi!" he calls out. "Have you had any luck?"

"I haven't caught a thing," you answer.

"Well, if you would put your fishing pole on the right-hand side of the boat, you would catch a lot of fish."

Would you try it, or would you say to yourself, "That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. What difference does it make which side of the boat I am fishing from?"

Well, that is almost exactly what happened in our Bible lesson for today. Several of Jesus' disciples were gathered beside the Sea of Galilee. The group included Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

Suddenly, Peter said, "I'm going fishing."

"We'll come too," the others said. So they got in the boat and they fished all night, but caught nothing."

As the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn't make out who it was. Jesus called out to them, "Have you caught any fish?"

"Not a thing," the disciples called back.

"Throw your nets on the right-hand side of the boat and you'll catch some!"

Did they do it? Yes they did! Did they catch any fish? They caught so many fish that they couldn't even pull the net into the boat!

Then the disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!" When Peter heard that, he jumped into the water and headed for shore. The others stayed with the boat and dragged the loaded net to the shore. When they got there, they found Jesus cooking breakfast -- fish over a charcoal fire and some bread.

"Bring some of the fish you've just caught," Jesus said. Peter dragged the net to the shore and there were 153 large fish. "Now, come and have some breakfast," Jesus said. Then Jesus served them fish and bread.

Oh my! It just doesn't get any better than that. Breakfast on the beach with the risen Lord! What would have happened if the disciples had refused to throw their nets on the right-hand side of the boat? They would have missed out on a wonderful breakfast on the beach with Jesus. What happens when you and I refuse to do the things Jesus has called us to do? We miss out on the wonderful blessings that he wants for us!

Father, we know that you have wonderful blessings in store for us when we faithfully follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that we will always be obedient disciples. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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