By Stephen Leonard
“Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared ask Him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord.” John 21:12
Nothing better than a cookout on the beach! And to think that a resurrected Jesus was the preparer of the cookout breakfast of fish and bread. He made the fire; He cooked the fish; He provided the bread. He also told the fish-less fisherman exactly where to catch the fish. They had not caught anything all night. At daybreak, Jesus yelled to them from the shore to cast their net on the opposite side of the boat. They did and caught 153 large fish!
No fisherman had better, more knowledgeable advice. Their fortunes went from bad to over the top. Discouragement shot up to euphoria. And they had an already prepared breakfast waiting for them on the beach! How fortunate is that? A meal over an open fire outdoors on the sand tastes as good as a meal possibly can.
It had been at least a week or more since Jesus rose from the dead, walked out of His tomb, and yet had not ascended to heaven. He had appeared to most of His disciples three times. He had eaten with them every time, but this meal beside around a fire on the beach was perhaps the most delightful of all; a meal with poignant conversation, fellowship, and food.
John first recognized his Lord, but by the time all the disciples gathered around the fire on the beach, they all knew this was Jesus. They were astounded, but they were also at peace and warmly excited. After being crushed by His cruel, tortured death, they were now being emboldened to completely committed lives unto martyred deaths in most of their futures, John excepted.
Peter’s death was prophesied exactly as it occurred. John really did not die until after he had observed his Lord’s second coming (John 21:21-23): in a vision in technicolor reality on the isle of Patmos. He did remain in a very real sense until He came!
The beach party was a confirmation of Jesus’ resurrection and also His coming again. And it expressed His overwhelming love for His followers. What’s more, it told us about our own resurrected bodies. We may all have a lot more beach parties in our eternal future on the new earth. Hallelujah!
“On the first day of the week Mary came, the grave to seek; Jesus met her by the way on that first resurrection day! Rising like the morning sun, bringing hope to everyone; praise the Lord his work was done; Jesus is my morning sun!”
(1st verse of James Ward’s hymn, “Morning Sun,” 1975)