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John 21:1-7, After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So, Jesus said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So, they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. Therefore, that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.

Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, John, and two other disciples were all together in a fishing boat. For any recreational fisherman that is likely five too many! They had obviously gone to Peter’s commercial vessel where he had made his living some years before. He is doing what he knows how to do, because he doesn’t know how to be comfortable with his faith in this present circumstance.

After Jesus’ death, His followers were faced with an identity challenge. This was likely purposeful, but for those who were followers it was also painful. Jesus didn’t walk with the apostles every minute He was back. He had appeared only twice before this moment. (John 21:14)

What must it have been like to realize that the risen Savior was not as present at this point? Maybe they struggled to understand, exactly, how they fit into His plan at this point. We all do today, to one extent or another. When someone exits their own tomb, under their own power, how does that affect previous relationships? What they needed to learn was that the primary purpose of those 40 days was to show the people that Jesus was God. He appeared to many more than the original followers. According to 1 Corinthians 15:5-7 He appeared to over 500 hundred people.

So, what do we do when we struggle to know where we fit into God’s plan? Psalm 46:10 tells us to, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Sometimes we have to live in the moment of simply knowing that Jesus is who He claimed to be. If the future is uncertain, we can rest knowing that God holds that in His hand. He will reveal it or not, depending on His plan. Sometimes just “being” is harder than actually “doing.”

Fortunately, Jesus always knows where to find His people. He would interrupt their “doing,” with his “being.” For some reason, John understood this about Jesus better than the others at this point. Maybe he was not old enough to have his faith clouded by much of the distraction that can come with too much experience, and to little faith. John says the only four words any of them ever needed to know, “It is the Lord!” May we all be blessed to see what the Lord is, and not be so distracted by what is not. Godspeed.