Jump All In
Read John 21:7-11 (ESV)
That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
Do you identify more with John (the disciple whom Jesus loved) or Peter? Are you quicker to perceive or quicker to act?
In an earlier study, we talked about the Swoon Theory, which is an attempt to discredit Jesus’ resurrection by saying that He merely passed out. Another skeptical argument is the Hallucination Theory which claims that the disciples thought they saw a resurrected Christ but they were just hallucinating.
The obvious question with the Hallucination Theory is how did all of the disciples experience the exact same hallucination at the exact same time? Even more incredible is that this miracle catch and seaside breakfast account is the third time Jesus had appeared to them after His resurrection. So, for the Hallucination Theory to add up, all of the disciples had to experience the same mass hallucination on three separate occasions by this point. (And this isn’t even taking into account 1 Corinthians 15:6 which tells us that Jesus appeared to over 500 people at the same time!) I don’t know about you, but it takes more faith for me to believe in multiple and mass hallucinations than to simply believe the biblical account that Jesus died, rose from the dead, and appeared to many people before He ascended into heaven.
In today’s passage, we pick up where we left off yesterday, with several of the disciples in fishing boats out on the Sea of Galilee. They had fished all night but still had empty nets. That is until a man on shore at dawn shouted at them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. There must have been something about His voice that compelled them to do what He said. They didn’t recognize Him yet, but they did listen to Him. And when they did, they caught 153 fish! So many fish that they struggled to haul it all ashore.
All throughout His ministry, Jesus gave the people signs and miracles to confirm His identity. He did the same thing here and John himself was the first to put the pieces to the puzzle together. That man on the shore was Jesus! He had revealed Himself to them in a mighty way once again! And there is no way all of them hallucinated this experience!
Once John announced his revelation that “it is the Lord,” Peter reacted in true Peter fashion. He wanted to get to Jesus so fast that he immediately jumped overboard and swam to shore! Thankfully, he at least took time to put on his outer garment because he had taken it off while he worked and was likely fishing in little more than a loincloth. He wanted to be back with Jesus so much that he didn’t wait to evaluate John’s claim, he didn't help his fishing buddies drag the nets to land…he just had to get to Jesus as fast as possible. So he jumped all in.
Think about Peter’s intense desire to be with the Lord. Do you feel that same sense of urgency to drop everything and run to Him? Is being with Him more important to you than anything else? This longing to be with the Lord is a recurring theme in the Old Testament, especially in the psalms. King David wrote: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).
Friends, Jesus really is the resurrected Lord and He really did appear to many people after He rose from the dead. The disciples didn’t hallucinate but saw Him with their own eyes multiple times and in multiple ways. Each time, He supernaturally revealed Himself to them and with every revelation, they proclaimed that He truly was Jesus, their Lord. May we, like Peter, feel an intense sense of urgency and a deep longing to be in His presence. When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, may nothing hold us back. May we jump all in.
Lord, I long to be with You. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…for me it is good to be near God” (Psalm 73:25-26, 28). So I am running hard after You and jumping all in. Amen.
Reveal: Do you have friends who are the “all in” type, or the “wait and evaluate” type? Whichever they are, help them understand the truth that Jesus has risen and saved all of us from our sins.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford