April 9, 2021

The Miraculous Word

by Dr. Oliver Wagner

“He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat and you will find some fish.’ So they cast it and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. One of the disciples said to Peter ‘It is the Lord!’”
John 21:6
As with yesterday’s devotion when Mary knew it was Jesus only when she heard him call her by name, so today recognition of the Risen Christ is slow to come. The disciples are back in Galilee and fishing (where they started). But they caught nothing. Then at daybreak, Jesus appeared on the beach and yelled out to them. John’s gospel records, “But the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.” Do you see a theme here? The Risen Savior is present and with us, even calling to us in conversation…but he remains unrecognizable! Faith is a mystery, isn’t it?

For Mary, recognition came when she heard her name. For the guys in the boat, recognition came when they did as he said and caught an incredible number of fish. On their own strength and skill, they were failing. But when they did as Jesus directed them, they had tremendous and overwhelming success. So great, so amazing, was the catch of fish that they knew it is the work of God. “It is Jesus!” the beloved disciple rightly concluded. Peter immediately swam to shore.

There’s a word for us today from this passage! Obeying Jesus’ word always leads to blessing. On our own strength, we will fail. Our own smarts will fail us. But leaning upon God’s strength and following God’s command is sure to help us reach our full potential and make the biggest impact for good. I recall a surgeon who was a church member in Chapel Hill who told me, “My day at the hospital always goes better when I begin it with a prayer.”
Your word, O God, is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Your word always accomplishes its purpose and never returns to you empty. So speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com