I was reading John 21 this week and, in the midst of the story about Jesus making breakfast for his disciples after his resurrection, I noticed a really important lesson for me and for the Church. In John 21, the disciples go to their sweet spot. After being called from their boats and from their nets and from their livelihoods to follow Jesus around for three years, they returned back to what was always known. After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, the disciples tried to find a place back in normal life free from the chaos and the struggle of the past three years. Where did they go? They went back to the Sea of Galilee and back to their boats. We can resonate with this really well. We all have those groups of friends and those couple of different locations or activities that are calming. Simon Peter suggests they go fishing and the disciples immediately take him up on it. They were not fishing out of necessity as before, this time they were fishing to relax, reminisce about the last three years, and spend time with each other. This picture is one that I think we should all take a close look at.
For me, growing up my friends and I would always build a fire and hang out every Thursday night before the Friday night football game. After our walk-through at practice that place that was a sweet spot. We thought that we were just getting ready for the game and that we are trying to get our head straight for the next day but what God was developing was something entirely different. To this day, my best friends and I get around that same fire on the same property to reminisce, relax, and catch up. Now we are bringing our wives and our babies to that same campfire. The community that we created in high school is something that has remained consistent still today. The disciples created this type of community and this type of friendship through three years of ministry with Jesus.
That community and that trust they had for each other would be an absolute necessity for the years of persecution they were facing. At this point in John 21, they had no idea the persecution that was coming. They had no idea how Rome and the Jewish religious upright would attack the new church instituted under Christ. However, Jesus had done a great job of creating a band of men who loved each other, held each other accountable to the Gospel, and would be the perfect support system for the struggles to come.
The lesson we can take from the scene is quite simple. First, make sure you have a place where you know that you and God can meet on a regular basis. For the disciples that place was the Sea of Galilee. Create space in your life for stillness. Create space in your life for time of reflection and meditation and calm. We live in a day and age built on the premise of busyness and consistent struggle. Creating time and space in your life for the opposite is of the upmost importance to your sanctification. Secondly, surround yourself with men and women who are going to be uplifting to your faith and ultimately consistent in their desire for your love for Jesus. Temptation, struggle, and pain are a guaranteed piece of your life today. Satan’s plan is to derail your faith and allow you to slide until your is life consumed with hidden, consistent sin. A group of believers surrounding you who hold you accountable the Gospel is your best defense. This is why Christ created to Church.
I know the types of people who read this blog and many of you are type A personalities who find ourselves up and at the gym even as early as 530 in the morning. We like to be constantly active and we are bored and get antsy if we aren’t doing something. For those of you who fit that category I would commend you to read Psalm 46. The first nine verses of Psalm 46 list out a pretty chaotic, active scenario. Yet in verse ten God’s commands simple: be still and know that he is God. Amidst the chaos that we often create in our ow lives and amidst the chaos that this world creates for our lives, God calls us to be still and know that he is God. This is exactly what the disciples did in John 21. They took a night to go fishing, return to a place of peace, and reminisce about their Savior. This is an example I think we should all take to heart. Next week, I’m going to write a really important lesson on what they find when the day breaks on the Sea of Galilee.