This isn’t the first time the disciples caught a lot of fish. This isn’t even the first miraculous time. Luke 5 describes the first time this happened to these fishermen. Several men, none of whom knew Jesus very well (if at all) had been out fishing (unsuccessfully) all night. As they pull in, they get close enough to see a gathering of townspeople. They surround a teacher to the point that he can’t actually speak to them all. Using the natural acoustics of the lake, he slips into a boat, and asks one of the fishermen to take him out. When he’s done teaching, he tells them to go out farther and let the nets down. The exhausted fishermen eventually agree (they’re in the boat anyway) and the nets fill with so many fish that they call their partners over to help.
Peter is so stunned that he falls to bottom of the boat. This was significant enough that Peter could offer no explanation. Something truly important was happening. And it caused Peter to come face to face with the fact that he was unworthy… he was undeserving… he was a sinner. And all the teacher has to say is, “Come with me Peter… and I will make you a fisher of men.”
And here he returns. Near the end of his time with them. After their adventures and trials. A man on the short. A boatload of fish. And maybe John’s head snaps up with a smirk… in recognition. I know who it is. And Peter dives in. The one on shore is the one who creates our faith. He’s the one who re-creates our faith. He’s the one who knows us. These men were fishermen… and he got their attention. He knew what they needed and he provided it. And, more than anything else, we all needed salvation. We all needed life. And he gave it to us.
Maybe he gets our attention in new and wild ways. Maybe he uses the ways he has previously used before. Maybe he cracks a stone heart in a dramatic, lightning-bolt way. Maybe he prompts our hands to pick up a Bible or devotion booklet for the first time (or the first time in a longtime). Maybe his Spirit gets us really thinking about what we use to so regularly have available (week-in and week-out) at his Supper. And he stirs our hearts and minds to remember, I know who he is…
Dear Savior, may I never forget you, even as you have never forgotten me. May I always remember, with wonder, all you continue to provide… continue to give to me… every day. Amen.