153 Fish!

Everyone loves surprises. Let me rephrase that: everyone loves GOOD surprises. Let me rephrase that once more: after the initial shock of being surprised wears off and their heart rate returns to normal, everyone loves the blessings received by good surprises.

In John 21:1-14, we read a story of an encounter Jesus had with his disciples after his resurrection. Led by Peter, the disciples had jumped into a fishing boat to catch some fish on the Sea of Galilee. After struggling all night with their fishing nets and catching nothing, they were frustrated. About a hundred yards away on the shore, someone called out, “Friends, you don’t have any fish, do you? Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll find some.”

Now I’m not sure if he was saying cast your net on the right — not left — side of the boat OR the right — not wrong — side of the boat, but either way the fish that had previously not been caught in their net were now being caught in the net in great number. They caught 153 large fish!

Immediately upon caching the fish, John recognized that it was Jesus who had instructed them where to fish. They realized that God had provided the blessings of the catch when they obeyed the words of Jesus. Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to shore, and the others brought the boat full of fish to the shore.

Jesus had already started a campfire and was cooking fish to eat. He had some bread too. The disciples and Jesus sat there, no doubt remembering the great miracle of Jesus providing fish and bread for more than 5000 people on one occasion right on the shores of this very lake.

The real blessing of the day for the disciples was this: they got to spend the day with Jesus, and he provided for their every need.

Jesus does not stop surprising you with the abundance of his blessings.

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