When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him. – John 21: 4 MSG
Forgive me if I get a little personal on this blog.
I have just gained a daughter-in-law this past week and have enjoyed spending a few days on the Florida coast. The white sands were the perfect setting for a wedding. A ‘destination’ wedding. My first time and I hope, certainly not my last.
The shoreline where we found ourselves was truly amazing. The sand was incredibly soft, nothing hard or uncomfortable about walking on it at all. The water that crested in from the Gulf was actually a nice temperature (not bathwater warm). Sandpipers skittered across the beach, running inland from the waves. The sun burned down on those sitting in their loungers or knee deep in the water, casting their fish lines. Seagulls flew overhead while pelicans floated and bobbed. A gentle breeze blew across our faces, creating a more bronze hue.
Beachlife. It’s serene. It’s calming.
Here in this beautiful Gospel story we see Jesus going unrecognized. No one even detected his familiar voice. A solitary figure giving fishing lessons to career fishermen. Rough and tumble guys in a boat with nary a catch. And then dear Peter – likely as they were sweating, hauling in an overwhelming catch of fish – had his aha moment. It’s Jesus! In The Message version we read that Jesus told Peter and the others, “Breakfast is ready” (verse 12).
Okay, so, another beach, another story, perhaps. But I can’t help thinking Jesus was with us too, on our beach. In the exchange of vows. In the reading of Scripture. Preparing a feast – a wedding feast. A party. And how amazing it is when we recognize Jesus on the beach!
By Don Pape, NavPress publisher.
Ready to disciple others, but not sure where to start? Here are great resources to get started. Follow the link(s) to read a free pdf of the first chapters: