When I was a child, for two years we lived on the Kentucky River. The parsonage (pastor’s house provided by church) was just up the hill from a creek that came from the River. I would go down every day in the Summer and fish. A few times, I was invited to go out on the river and fish at the bottom of the drop off. What a great day we had! We caught our limit of each kind of fish and went home satisfied. However many we caught, it was not at all like what happens in John 21!
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus told them. 11 So Simon Peter got up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish-153 of them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus told them. None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish.
Peter and others decided they were going back to fishing for a while. Jesus shows up and magical things happen. In Luke 5, an earlier time, Jesus tells them to cast their nets on the other side. The nets begin to break because there are so many fish! Here, though, the nets are able to withstand the 153 great fish. While, it seems insignificant, this episode reveals God’s love and care for our lives. The number of fish does not have as much to do with the story. Jesus has returned in power and authority. He tells them to catch and they do in great abundance. Earlier in Luke the nets break giving rise to an understanding that though they would have some success they were not fully ready for what was going to happen. Now, on this side of the resurrection, they were going to receive a power like never before. They cast their nets and received and abundance of fish and they were able to haul them all in without breaking the nets. What do we learn?
1. God cares for our everyday needs. The guys had been gone a long time. The provision for their family came from fishing. During this down time, God provided for their family. He cares that you sacrifice to serve Him. He cares for your needs and has the power to provide for those needs if we would trust Him to do so.
2. God has a desire to reach the world. Jesus called them to be fishers of men. Both instances, Luke and John, provide insight that God wanted to encourage these men. They were talented fisherman and would be talented fishers of men too. God’s plan A is that you, through the local church, would reach the world with the Gospel. There is no Plan B.
3. God is the central figure. Jesus called the men to cast their nets in both moments. It was at His direction that they accomplished so much! We must be cautious in our information age that we still take the time to hear a call from God not only for ministers but also ministries. Every program your church has needs to be run through the filter of prayer. We must seek God’s desires for everything we do. Even our methods for doing what we know God wants must be filtered through prayer. The men had fished and caught nothing. Jesus said to fish but in a different way and they caught many. We must do the same in our lives and in our churches.
4. God desires preparation. I have known many people who don’t feel preparation is required. I disagree. We all need preparation. We all need continual study. The gap between the day of my salvation and the day of rest in Jesus grows with every breath. Questions of effectiveness and production fill our minds. How can we continue to meet every successive generation if we do not prepare for them? The disciples went through intensive study in the presence of Jesus. How then, can we suppose that God’s call on us is all we need? Jesus called them long before he sent them out. What did they do? Prepared. They educated themselves in the ways of Jesus. I believe in training. I believe in education. I believe in them because our Lord Jesus did too. He did not simply send them out. He mentored and trained them so they would be prepared for their necessary future in the Kingdom.
So, what do you do with 153 fish other than a massive fish fry? Try Fish Tacos.
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay
- Prep Time: 35 min Inactive Prep Time:25 min
- Cook Time: 45 min
- Serves: 4 servings
- 1 pound white flaky fish, such as mahi mahi or orata
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 8 flour tortillas
- Shredded white cabbage
- Hot sauce
- Crema or sour cream
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Thinly sliced green onion
- Chopped cilantro leaves
- Pureed Tomato Salsa, recipe follows
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the fish from the marinade place onto a hot grill, flesh side down. Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds and remove. Let rest for 5 minutes then flake the fish with a fork.
Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 20 seconds. Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.
Pureed Tomato Salsa:
- 2 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 serrano chile
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Salt and pepper
Preheat grill or use side burners of the grill. Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes, serrano and jalapeno and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the mixture with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Add the hot sauce, oregano, cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
SERVES: 4; Calories: 418; Total Fat: 20 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 26 grams; Total carbohydrates: 33 grams; Sugar: 2 grams Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 83 milligrams; Sodium: 502 milligrams