Jesus saith unto them, “Come and dine”. And none of the disciples durst ask Him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed Himself to His disciples, after that He was risen from the dead. John 21:12-14
Edgar Allen Poe wrote, “When the excitement dies, the elevation of soul ends and so does the poem, in so far as it is a poem.”
What do you do when the band stops playing and the “Amen’s” are no longer shouted? What do you do when it seems like your faith has been misguided?
Did Easter change you, or are you back to the daily grind?
Do you remember when you were saved? When you became a Christian? The joy – the excitement?
Do you remember when the message God had for you moved you to commit your life to completely follow Jesus Christ.
But what about ’The Day After’ you became a Christian? Have you changed anything in your life to show the world you are a Christian? Or has it been business as usual?
I’ve often wondered what happened to the Apostles after the Resurrection of Jesus . We have this thinking that everything was ‘cumbaya’ and that Jesus was constantly around them….like He was before. If they were like me after a big event in my life, I actually was a little down and out. It seems like big events have that effect. But this event, the resurrection of their Master, was much different. They understood that things were not going to be the same, things had changed; and they didn’t have understanding of the big picture, of what Jesus had planned for them. This would be why Jesus would spend 40 days on earth, teaching them about how to cope with the things to come, that they would live lives of hope and not despair; uncertain about their futures.
Consider the condition of the disciples on the day after Easter.
- The Emotional Excitement of the Resurrection Events
A. The great sadness of Jesus’ death on the cross, the crushed dreams and aspirations of the followers of Christ and the three days of silence, as the body of Jesus lay in the tomb, all this would be shattered giving way to the exhilaration and wonder of the most amazing events on Easter.
There were others among the followers besides the Apostles who were experincing the after Easter blues, not understanding just what to do next……Two of these were on a road called Emmaus Road-
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” He asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. ; but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women“He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find His body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said He was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. Luke 24:13-27
Easter for the followers of Jesus did not begin with the singing of Hallelujah’s. The day actually began with the emotion of fear. For us in our days we have developed a day of sweet celebration. My home church had a huge Sunrise Service at a major venue here in Southern California called the ‘Home Depot Center’. I know for fact, because I am on staff here along with my wife, Patty that there was great preparation made in advance to make this event spectacular, opening an opportunity for many to come to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and come know Him personally as Lord and Savior. I was informed that hundreds came forward as Pastor Steve Mays gave repeated altar calls, and many gave themselves to Jesus. There was definitely a celebration of new life as a result of the resurrection of Jesus!
But for the Apostles and Followers of Jesus in that day, there was no Home Depot Center for the Apostles to gather together and celebrate the resurrection. For them it was a time where their Easter began basically with frightening events, the earthquake, the stone rolled away, the bright messenger, the Roman soldiers assigned to guard the sealed tomb and found looking like dead men. There was also the fear of the women that the body of the Master had been stolen. Their fear however was quickly exchanged by great joy.
Matthew recorded that: “they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. “
And so what about the day after the resurrection for the followers of Jesus?
Amazingly it started like most other days. Nothing spectacular is recorded in the Scriptures as having happened. In fact there is silence about the day after Easter.
The day before was a mountaintop experience filled with excitement and emotion, but now they had to face blue Monday. Waking up on the morning after Easter the world strangely looked pretty much the same as it had looked before they had gone through the ordeal of the arrest, trial, crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. Things looked like everything went back to the way it was before they had met Jesus. But now things were looking discouraging; in fact over the next few days the discouragement increased as they waited for Jesus to appear to them again.
John records in his Gospel account that some of the disciples were gathered together at Peter’s house in Capernaum, waiting for Jesus when Peter became so discouraged and impatient that he announced he was returning back to his fishing business.
“After these things Jesus shewed Himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed He Himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, “I am going fishing”. They say unto him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and entered into a boat immediately. And that night they caught nothing.” John 21:1-3
The interpretation for what Peter said, “I’m going fishing” is from a Greek word, ” hoop-ag’-o: which means to lead (oneself) under, it means to withdraw or retire (as if sinking out of sight)
Peter was ready to quit being a disciple and go back to what he knew best, fishing. The other disciples were as dismayed as he was as seven of the eleven went with him and three of those were not even fisherman. They said, “Hey, we will go with you.”
I began to think about the mindset of these close followers and just how lost they were. It appeared as though they were back in the same place they were before Jesus found them.
I think for me, I can relate to how they were thinking, sometimes I feel like I should leave the ministry, and go back and start up my Construction Company again, almost convincing myself that I can do it better than before, because I know Jesus now. The discouragement of not doing the work of the ministry is frustrating. I want to do it, but there just seems to be no opportunity for me to exercise my spiritual gifts. I guess that’s why the Lord has me writing these blogs, maybe He’s stretching me in the use of my gifts, although more silently than I expected. The major part of all this of course is the chemotherapy I am under day after day. I need to remember that He hasn’t left me without a witness opportunity and is actually strengthening that characteristic through these silent days.
And so Peter was thinking of quitting the ministry and go back to the old days and returning to his ‘comfort zone’. One thing is sure if you’re going through a spell where you aren’t seeing God’s hand at work in your life, don’t be looking for outward manifestations of that work. If it’s anything like me, He’s gone deep inside where, for the most part, I haven’t been in for a long time. When you start thinking like Peter was thinking, you are searching for straws, thinking that is what will help. What you really need is going to be found deep within your heart, where your first love first met you. Jesus may be asking you to meet Him there to address this discouragement.
And so on this particular Monday, the disciples are carrying yesterday’s events in their minds, each one had doubts about what happened and of Jesus’ words. It appeared as if each one had given up hope after Christ’s crucifixion. They were drifting apart ready to give up. And to add injury to insult if you will, Peter was still dealing with the fact that he had denied Jesus three times.
While we’re at it, leaving and going back doesn’t always improve the situation.
“Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.”
They tried to go back to the way things were before they met Jesus. Although they wanted it to be – it was not nor would ever be again – Business as Usual!
At about the time when you know you’ve messed up and gone back to what you used to do or what you used to think, when you know going back just isn’t going to work out……in comes Jesus! He comes to set things right. And what is right is that what you needed more than the things that you returned to that you thought would make you feel better, all changes when Jesus manifest Himself to you personally. And oh how willing you become to get that second chance. And what He knows you really needed was fellowship and provision ……..to where they were.
“But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
“ Therefore, that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.
Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”-–knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.
As Jesus fed the seven on the shore of the sea, would go one to give Peter the assurance that he was forgiven, and commissioned Peter to not continue on his business as a fisherman of fishes but to carry out the earlier calling by God to complete.
“ And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. and they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-20
Do you remember what Jesus called you to do for Him? Peter out of despair was ready to throw the towel in on His new calling that was given to Him. But like most of us, I think Peter’s biggest issues were:
1. How could Jesus ever forgive me being a coward and denying Him before people?
2. Even though Jesus promised Peter that He would be a fisher of men, I’m not all that sure Peter understood how that would be accomplished.
The idea of feeling shame for not acknowledging relationship with Jesus when it counted, is enough to make any of us run. Has there ever been a point in your life with Him where you fell short in your witness for Him? At the same time, Peter was going back to work his old job because he didn’t understand how this new calling was going to work out. He felt at lost without the help of Jesus. This is something we have or will have happen to us . We can’t see the whole picture. Maybe God has promised you a calling that seems so, not you. There’s no way you could possibly do it. Then you know what? It’s very possible that it is a calling from God. Remember, it’s not based on what you have or can do. It’s all supplied by Him, through the Holy Spirit.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
Jesus most clearly asked Peter, “Am I more important to you than your old life? Your comfort zone? Your livelihood? Your business? Everything that you hold dear in life?”
Not once, but five times does the phrase, ‘and He said to him’ come out in this plea to reinstate Peter into a right fellowship with Jesus. What a comforting thought that Jesus is willing to say to us again and again that He loves us enough to take a personal and persistent interest in our lives and our calling. Jesus has given us the Person of the Holy Spirit to see to it that we not fail at anything He asks us to do for Him.
And so Peter seizes the opportunity to affirm his love for Jesus answering the questions, Peter:
- “Am I more important to you than your old life?”
- “Am I more important to you than your comfort zone?
- ‘Am I more important to you than your livelihood?
- “Am I more important to you than everything you hold dear in life?
From this first day after the resurrection every day now becomes Resurrection Day for Peter.
It is so easy for Easter Day to be a moment in time and not a moment that changes time. My life with Jesus in order to be fruitful needs to be lived as a moment that changes the way I do business with God.
How about you? Did Easter Day change you today on the first day after, or are you like Peter who was swayed by his emotions before a living, resurrected Jesus appeared to Him reminding all of us that : ” For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
One thing for sure is that when God calls us out of that comfort zone to first “come and dine” with Him, and you accept the invite; you will leave changed for the good.. “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.” Revelation 3:20
No matter what the failure, God will still use you if you let Him. Why? “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
The day after Easter, what a day of potential! Look for Jesus to appear before you today, ready to make every day a Resurrection Day. Lord, help me today to not make this day a gloomy day but to live it as a moment that will change time in someone else’s life!
Here’s today’s video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlwEI2VwgYs