“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. ‘I’m going out to fish,’ Simon Peter told them, and they said ‘We’ll go with you.’ So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.” John 21:1-3
Years ago, one of our children spent an extended time in Pediatric ICU. Grandpa and Grandma took care of our other three youngsters, bless their hearts, so PB and I could stay by the bedside of our gravely ill daughter. Finally, after a week or two, I was strongly encouraged to go home for a night. The other kids were missing their mama.
I remember standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes (we didn’t have a dishwasher) and thinking, “This feels so good.” My hands in the warm water, the smell of soap bubbles, the familiar view from the window. A tedious chore any other day, but on this day, washing dishes was such a comfort, a relief, a sense of normal. For those few minutes I could pretend life was the back to the same old routines.
It seems the men from Galilee needed a break from the crowded city of Jerusalem. They had been holed up together for too long. Peter was itching to do something. So seven of them took the four day walk north, perhaps to check on things at home. It must have been a balm to their souls to smell that sea air and hear the ripple of water on the shore. Considering the strangely wonderful but deeply unnerving events following Jesus’ resurrection, it probably felt good to go somewhere familiar and do something normal.
Back in the boat.
Setting the sails.
Throwing out nets.
Sweating in the sun.
Talking to each other.
“Should we go back to fishing for fish
instead of men?”
Jesus was about to show up again and answer that question.
Once you encounter the Savior,
you can’t really go back.