May 13, 2022 • 11M

Another great haul of fish

Miracles of Jesus - Podcast and outline

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A new episode every weekday from Monday to Friday. Tony Silveira from Montreal, Canada. Short Bible Studies every weekday.
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John 21:1-14

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way:  Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus ), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.  “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

The haul

The first great catch of fish, in Luke 5:1-11, occurred at the very beginning of the ministry of Jesus

At the Lake of Galilee Jesus taught the people from the boat belonging to Simon Peter. After his discourse He said to Simon: "Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch. And Simon answered, 'Master, we have toiled all the night and took nothing!'" (Luke 5:4b-5a).

The second great fish of 153 fishes, which occurred after the resurrection, and was His last earthly meal with His apostles

The Miracle

On at least three occasions, Jesus directs His disciples to meet Him in Galilee after His resurrection (Matthew 26:32; 28:7, 10; Mark 14:28; 16:7)

The last miracle is like Jesus coming “full-circle.” with the disciples

Galilee is the disciples’ home, and their fishing boats are docked there

They didn't recognize Jesus immediately. how many times have we ignored Jesus when He is right in front of us?

- The number 153 has some unique arithmetic properties. It is a triangular number: it is the sum of the integers from 1 to 17. Almost every modern biblical commentary on the symbolism of 153 mentions this fact.

- The number 153 occurs only once in the Old Testament. Actually, it is the number 153000, which was the number of constructors of the first temple when Solomon was king.

- How do we explain the 1000 in 153000? This is what the evangelist means by "big fishes". He certainly could not make you believe that the miraculous catch was 153 thousand fishes. That would have been not only miraculous, but beyond believable. The symbolic trick is to use "big" to mean "1000" as a multiplier. And that actually is a double-trick: 1000 is well known in the Old Testament to represent a symbolic large value that cannot be counted. So, not only does the 153 big fishes refer to the 153000 constructors of the first temple, it also means "a very large unknown number". This is also coherent with the first observation of one of the apostles when looking inside the net: there was a multitude of fishes.

The Calling of Peter

After the miracle Jesus ministers inner healing to Peter and calls him once again.

Just as Peter we can be called to follow and after we learn the gospel truth we are called to lead

Jesus gave Peter a three-fold command to “feed my sheep” in John 21:15-17. Each time Jesus said, “Feed my sheep,” it was in response to Peter’s three-fold declaration of love for Jesus.

Jesus calls for action to accompany our faith; giving meaning and purpose for our Christian lives.