Saturday, July 13, 2013
You Have Not Seen Me
John 21:1 - After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: …
Jesus had been crucified, buried and arose from the grave. Now He set about to return for the sake of the disciples.
He had just been with them and had shown Himself to doubting Thomas. He told him: Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
The next account confuses me. We don't know how long after the Thomas incident this took place. It only states later it was the third appearance...and this happened in the next chapter! We do know Jesus only returned for 40 days so this time could not have been too long since Thomas.
Peter and some of the others decided to fish one night. Peter just makes the very blunt statement: I'm going fishing. What might have been on his mind that led him to just drop everything and go fishing? Perhaps Jesus' visitations were looming in his head and he just needed to do something familiar, ordinary, to take his mind off, or to think about, things. What happened next is a bit like when some of the disciples were met on the road to Emmaus and talked, walked and listened to Him but didn't recognize Him.
They caught no fish that night. Jesus was on the shore waiting for their return. I can't help but sense a warm love that Jesus must have had for these ordinary men. They didn't recognize Him again! He called to them and they didn't recognize His voice. He asked if they had food but of course they hadn't caught any fish. So, again, like one other time when He asked Peter to cast the net on the other side of the boat and it was filled. Well, by this time I would have thought, hmmmmm, this sounds familiar! Click!
But no. They cast the net as they are told and it fills up. Finally: Therefore, that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" And Peter heard this and he put on his outer garment and plunged into the water.
Why, I ask, did they not catch (no pun intended) on sooner?
I wonder if we are all periodically blinded to the Lord's voice, recognition of Him or something He has done because other things consume us? These disciples had just had the Holy Spirit breathed on them. Wouldn't a bit of discernment or recognition have kicked in? Do we, like perhaps they, only look for the big things in our lives as being of the Lord and not the little day to day occurrences?
We can sense His presence at all times if we just remain aware. Viewing/hearing His character in nature, in the unvoiced protection against an accident, in locating lost articles, or just a word from the Lord from His Word one morning.
If our minds are kept on Him, on those heavenly things, we may more easily recognize Him. Stay attuned to what just might be from Him. I'm not saying that EVERY thing, EVERY thought, EVERY word is from Him. But I believe we can discern. And that's what confuses me. Why didn't these disciples recognize Jesus right away?
Were they still so in awe of His return? Did they think the two past occurrences were it and didn't expect to see Him again? Were they just so deep in this "I can't believe He came back" attitude? Don't we do that too? I can't believe that just happened--when it really did and you really DO believe it.
We can believe Jesus died for us. When we have that marvelous moment of recognition of Jesus in our lives, we know something has changed. And yet there are times we ponder: Why did this happen? Why me? Was it for real? It's like a moment of unbelief even though we do believe.
Thank You, Lord, for your presence throughout the day. I pray for those continual thoughts of heavenly things as I go about my days. I pray that prayer of I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24) should it ever crop up. Admonish me to cast my net on the right side if my unbelief arises. Take me back to the day when my sight was restored and I saw with the eyes of my heart who and what truth is…that first day I believed with all my heart, mind and soul. How I love Your Word. There are days I could just bask in it. Good portion of days can just slip by sometimes. I'm feeling blessed because I have not seen You physically. But I have met You spiritually.
John 20:30-31 - And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.