Freerange Friday: John 21 and Fishing Again

by Lilly Lewin

By Lilly Lewin

This week the gospel reading in the lectionary is John 21, The Breakfast at the Beach.

I’ve heard it said that it takes three years to be present in a place and make good friends. It may take even longer now that people don’t go to traditional jobs everyday, but work in coffee shops and virtually. Three years. Jesus’s ministry with his disciples was that long or a bit longer. Jesus changed the lives of the disciples, their whole worlds. Jesus rocked their point of view and changed their perspectives on everything. No wonder they were confused when he died, afraid when he reappeared ALIVE, and still questioning what they were to do next even after the Resurrection.

It gives me comfort that Peter takes some of the gang fishing. Peter goes back to what is familiar and what he knows how to do. Something that makes sense to him. Yet, they don’t catch any fish. They fish all night and catch nothing. Then the Stranger (who turns out to be Jesus) shows up on the beach and invites them to fish on the other side of the boat.

Am I willing to fish again where Jesus tells me to fish?
Even when i have fished all night?
Am I willing to LISTEN to Jesus?
Am I willing to jump out of the boat to swim towards Him? Even if it means leaving my friends in the boat?

My favorite part of the John 21 story is that Jesus already had fish cooking on the grill. He really didn’t need their fish because Jesus already had breakfast ready for Peter and the other guys.

Jesus knew they’d be hungry.
Jesus provided what they needed physically and then Jesus provided what Peter needed emotionally too.

Do I believe? Can I believe that Jesus knows my needs?
Can I believe, am I willing to trust, that Jesus has breakfast already cooked and ready for me in my life?

Am I willing to TRUST that the RESURRECTION is for me too?

After the abundant catch, and the picnic breakfast, Jesus reminds Peter of his call. Jesus gives Peter the “what’s next” and let’s Peter know that his betrayal wasn’t the end of the story.

Jesus asks Peter if he love Him. And Pete says three times, you know that I love you Jesus.

Jesus knows that I love Him too. Jesus knows that I have doubts, fears, and big anxieties and He knows when I betray Him and Loves me anyway.

He hasn’t forgotten me.
Jesus hasn’t forgotten you either.
Jesus thankfully knows the WHAT’S NEXT for all of us!

Are we willing to be willing to wait on the what next with Jesus?

Read John 21 again. If there is a lake or some water near where you live, go sit beside the water and read the story out loud. Imagine the scene. Notice the sights and sounds around you, and think about the sights and sounds that surrounded the disciples that day at the beach. What do you notice? What were the conversations like?
Perhaps take a picnic with you to the water, or you could have fish tacos or even fish sticks for dinner and discuss John 21 with your friends, family or roommates. You can also use goldfish crackers a symbol of your willingness to fish again and trust in Jesus to show you what is next!

Here are some questions from the Prayer Station for John 21 found in the Sacred Space Prayer Experience called  “At the Table with Jesus”

The Picnic Table Breakfast at the Beach

Jesus cooks breakfast for you…He knows what you need and He provides a picnic for you!

Consider the conversation before they went fishing. Peter and the guys had experienced extreme loss and now extreme joy …knowing their savior was alive.
Yet their lives were uncertain, their futures unclear. What were they supposed to do now?

What did Jesus being alive really mean?
 Are we dreaming?

Imagine the conversations in the boat. What questions did they have?
What are your questions for Jesus?
Tell him. Talk to him.

Do you need Jesus to give you directions for your future?

Do you need to know what’s next?

The beauty is that Jesus knows his disciples and he provided for them. He didn’t really need their fish.

He’d already provided a table for them…a PICNIC table!
How has Jesus already provided for you? Write this down on a paper plate!
Think about this. Talk to Jesus about this. Thank Jesus for how he’s provided for you!

Eat some fish (gold fish if you are doing this as a prayer station) as a reminder that he holds the future and that he is providing for you.
He is already cooking breakfast for your tomorrow! ©lillylewin ©freerangeworship – copyright 1993 by John August Swanson

check out the Tables Sacred Space prayer experience at

You may also like

Leave a Comment