Breakfast with Jesus
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
John 21:9–14, NRSV
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have breakfast with Jesus. Would I serve Him or would He serve me? Would He lead the conversation or would He want me to? Would He be proud of me or a little disappointed? Would I leave feeling lighter or heavier? These are just a few of my questions. Then I read the passage at hand and my heart leaps with joy as I get a picture into what a breakfast with Jesus would be like.
Let me set the scene for you. Peter had thrown in the towel so to speak. After proverbially wasting three years of his life for a guy that had been killed a few days earlier, Peter found himself depressed and out of hope. So he went back to what was comfortable: fishing! Peter had been fishing since he was a boy, he was good at it and being out on the open water seemed to relax him. Yet for whatever reason, this night was far from relaxing. He didn’t catch one fish and all he could remember was his denial of the man known as Jesus.
As he made his way back to dry land, he saw in the distance a small campfire and, as they drew near, John, the youngest of them all, yelled out that it was Jesus! Now this is when the story gets interesting. Peter stripped off his clothes and jumped in and, when he met Jesus standing there on the seashore, before he could even get a word out, Jesus said, in v.12, “Come and have breakfast!” No rebuke, no stern look, not even a wagging figure. Just a smile, a hug and an invitation to a meal where they picked up where they left off. From what came next–Jesus asking three times if Peter loved him, echoing and healing Peter’s threefold denial–we have clarified what was already obvious: that Peter was repentant and Jesus forgave.
Ah, what good news for sinners. “Come have some breakfast!" Friends, the same good news is for you today. No matter what yesterday looked like (or didn’t), we repent, believe the Gospel and listen to the sweet invitation from Jesus. Rev. 3:20 says, “
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
The Rev. Jonathan V. Adams
Associate for Pastoral Care and Outreach