Jesus revealed himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way: Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then he said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” At these words, “It’s the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred meters.
When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish—one hundred and fifty-three—but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and he did the same with the fish.
This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead.
“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its cornerstone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward – in a word, a man … But this one thing, the historic Christian Church, was founded on a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.” (G. K. Chesterton, Heretics, 1905, pp. 60-1) God qualifies the one he calls! Most of the apostles were simple, ordinary and unlearned but seasoned fishermen from Galilee. Judas Iscariot was from Judea. Galileans were courageous, quick-tempered and ready to follow a charismatic leader. Jesus moved from Nazareth and started his ministry in Galilee.
There are two accounts of miraculous catch of fish: 1) the occasion for the call of Peter, James and John; 2) the post-resurrection event. In both events, though the apostles were experienced fishermen, they obeyed Jesus’ command and a miracle took place. “Only he who believes is obedient.” (D. Bonhoeffer) Only the humble is fit to follow the Lord. The humbler one becomes, the higher he goes up. When climbing up the stairs, we look down watching the steps.
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