Have you ever used the expression, “I just can’t believe it”?
During a recent visit to the Sea of Tiberias, I got to walk the very shoreline that tradition says was the setting of John 21:1-14. Now, the Sea of Tiberias is not really a sea at all. It is actually a fresh-water lake. It is small enough that I was able to see the distant shorelines that marked the perimeter of the lake (also known as the Sea of Galilee). I couldn’t believe how small the body of water actually is.
Since Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples needed more than a little reassurance. They needed encouragement and to be convinced over and over again. Each time they saw Jesus alive again, they might have exclaimed, “I just can’t believe it!”
After Jesus’ death, the disciples hid in a locked upper room, not really knowing what to do. It seems that they eventually went back to what they knew. Who wouldn’t? So some went back up to Galilee (about a forty-five minute drive by car) … perhaps a few days travel by foot, and they went back to fishing … only, they couldn’t seem to catch anything!
Until, that is, a familiar voice with a familiar inflection and tone was heard saying, “Try again.”
Imagine as they haul the fish aboard, they slowly recognize the One who told them what to do! As they come to shore, they are again greeted by a familiar sight—Jesus preparing a meal for them to enjoy—a meal on the beach! Leaving them with a new memory—not the last supper, but the first breakfast—means a new day and a new chance.
Are you, like the disciples were, stuck? How? What would help you move forward? What’s keeping you from trying again?
David Chow is Pastor of Killarney Park MB Church in Vancouver, BC.