Day 181: Working for Food

John 21:1-12 :

After these things, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.”

They told him, “We are also coming with you.” They immediately went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing. But when day had already come, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples didn’t know that it was Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, have you anything to eat?”

They answered him, “No.”

He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”

They cast it therefore, and now they weren’t able to draw it in for the multitude of fish. That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!”

So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around him (for he was naked), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away), dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”

Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fish, one hundred fifty-three; and even though there were so many, the net wasn’t torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.”

None of the disciples dared inquire of him, “Who are you?” knowing that it was the Lord.

The end of chapter 20 sounds like the end of the book, but it isn’t, and I am so glad that we have this next story. There is so much to talk about in this story.

This story answers many questions we may have about living in the physical world as believers because it deals with Jesus, work, and food. We, as Christians spend time thinking about these things. This story illustrates that it isn’t necessarily wrong to think about food, but that obeying Jesus is the best way to do it!

Notice that Peter decides to go fishing. This was his old occupation; the one he was doing when he was called to go with Jesus. When Jesus calls out to them, He doesn’t scold them for working instead of carrying on the “work of the Lord.” Instead, He asks them if they have anything yet. This tells me that the act of working for food isn’t a bad thing to do as a Christian. Now, how we work our jobs may be a more important study. We may think we know better than God does about how to do our work, but we definitely don’t. They hadn’t caught anything yet and Jesus just told them which side of the boat to fish on.

We should seek God in our daily activity at work. It is God who will help us to have the food we need. If we try on our own, I believe, we will fail just like Peter and the guys were. Notice what happened when they followed Jesus.

Because they put their nets out on the right side of the boat, they caught 153 big fish! They couldn’t even pull it in. They had to drag it to shore! Now, I don’t think that the disciples needed to eat all 153 fish that very day. It is clear to me that Jesus gave them a surplus. He was able to take care of their needs.

We should work the jobs that we know how to do, but we should be willing to follow Jesus’ voice while we do them in order to prosper. Notice, too, that Jesus made it so that the tools didn’t break. It is good to realize that Peter was a fishing expert. Many of us as Christians can consider ourselves to be experts in our fields. Notice that it doesn’t matter. We will fail in our Christian business if we don’t take orders from our Leader!

It is also very good to notice that Jesus didn’t preach against the eating of animals. Jesus asked that they be cooked and eaten here. Some are confused about this. Remember that the earth has been harmed by the flood and sin and the plants, evidentially, don’t give us all we need anymore. Before the flood we were all vegetarian, and, if I understand correctly, we may be so again when Jesus rules on earth someday.

Lastly, notice how it says that “Jesus revealed himself.” The new body that Jesus had was very different in that it could be concealed and revealed somehow. I believe that the Bible indicates that when we are resurrected, we will have bodies like His. Although they will have the ability to eat fish, they don’t appear to be restricted to the laws of physics that we currently are confined to.