John 21: 1-14 The Resurrection Breakfast
Biblical scholars agree that the last chapter of St John’s gospel was added after the original ending; you can check this by reading the final verse of chapter 20. This attractive episode is only found here but there is a hint in Mark’s gospel where Jesus says: After I am raised I will go before you into Galilee (Mark 26:32 and repeated in Matthew 14:28).
It is significant that Jesus appears in the home area of his followers. Compare how you would feel about a report of Jesus alive in London and friends who told you he had fed them on Exmouth beach! Seven apostles had gone back to their familiar trade; perhaps for comfort, maybe to feed their families, but had caught nothing. Then a huge catch results from the advice of a stranger – and it is John who recognises him as Jesus. The 153 fish symbolise the inclusive nature of God’s Kingdom and the abundance of God’s gifts when we follow Jesus rather than our own ideas.
Predictably it is Peter who wades ashore while the others bring in the boat; we need brave leaders but the work of the Kingdom is sustained by a united effort to deliver the ‘catch’. Two of them are not even named but Jesus values their contribution equally; they are all to bring their fish to the barbeque that he has already lit, as we are called to bring our offering to him. He shares the bread and fish with them; a resurrection breakfast together. Jesus had eaten cooked fish when he joined the disciples in the locked room and there is an echo of the feeding of the crowd and a link with the Passover/eucharist meal. The theologian John Marsh joked that we could have a fish & chip supper for Communion, based on early Christian pictures of the Eucharist with fish on the table. We too can enjoy fellowship and blessing with Christ, each valued by him.
May each of us meet Christ in our familiar setting and receive his Holy Spirit.