Breakfast On The Beach
The water was brisk. The impulsive Simon Peter had heard John say that Jesus was standing on shore. With nary a thought he was in the water. Peter knew that with the great haul of fish he would most likely make shore before the boat. He also knew that with each stroke he was coming near both his greatest joy and his greatest shame. Jesus had not yet mentioned the great denial. No one had mentioned it. But Simon Peter thought about it all the time. Perhaps they could work it out privately. Meanwhile, Jesus busied himself on shore: The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” ~John 21:8-10
Guilty people like assignments. They like to look busy. There is nothing worse than having nothing with which to occupy the hands when in the presence of someone you’ve hurt. Something, anything is better than just standing around. The dripping wet Peter hopped to it: So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. ~John 21:11 Not only did Peter fetch the fish. He took the time to count the fish! Avoidance. Delay. Plunking about. Staying busy. Perhaps Jesus wouldn’t bring up the embarrassing episode. Simon Peter thought that maybe he could just stay on the fringe and blend in.
The commonness of what was taking place was odd. It was as though Jesus had never died: Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. ~John 21:12-14 It was unsettling to Simon Peter as it was to all of the disciples. They were being served breakfast on the beach by a formerly dead man. They didn’t know quite what to make of it. They chewed on in silence. Peter could barely swallow.