It’s amazing how differently things appear after the darkness is gone.
John 21:4 – But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
Read our Text for Today again. Now note its placement after the resurrection. At the time of this happening, Jesus had, of course, already been resurrected. He had appeared to Mary Magdalene, to His disciples (minus Thomas), to two disciples on the road to Emmaeus, eight days after the resurrection, to His disciples again (this time with Thomas present), and likely to many others. After all that, Peter and six other disciples decide to go fishing, which to me seems strangely odd after so many encounters with the resurrected Lord. Then after fishing all night and taking nothing, the disciples see a man standing on the shore, yet, once again, after all the post-resurrection encounters, did not recognize Him. It is to that point I desire to speak today.
Each of us has, at some time in our life, encountered events and situation that were devastating to our emotions, dreams, and hopes. Despite the times of encouragement that can come after such spiritual and emotional trauma, the effects seem to last on and on. That is what seems to have happened here. Yes, Jesus had been crucified, died, and buried. But NOW He was alive, in a glorified body that had been manifest to the disciples on numerous occasions by the time this event occurred, and seen by per-haps hundreds of people. Yet with all that proof, for whatever the reason, they had not fully embraced the truth of His victorious resurrection and the truth that His promises and prophecies about Him would indeed be fulfilled completely. And herein is the point of today’s Second Miler. Regardless of the truth we have heard, the witnesses we have received, and the proofs set before us, unless we keep our focus on faith in Him, the darkness of the world will affect our perceptions.
What have you faced? What devastation, destruction, or deception has come your way? How long have you found yourself laboring in darkness at what you naturally do, and in doing so, lost sight, and perhaps even the ability to recognize your restoration, restoration, and revelation when it stands so near to you? You know the story surrounding our Text for Today, and it didn’t take long for the disciples to come to the realization that the man they didn’t recognize was, in fact, their Lord. Here is the really great news. Though Jesus had faithfully revealed Himself to His disciples, and despite that they failed to recognize Him on this occasion, He still loved them. Out of His love for them came the miracle of the second draught of fish, the miracles of fish and bread awaiting them on the shore, and His work of relieving guilt in Peter for his three denials. Jesus hasn’t changed. Where are you today. Are you with Him in the light, or are you perhaps finding it a bit difficult to recognize in the encroaching darkness that presses upon you? Know this; HE IS THERE FOR YOU!
Manna for Today – John 21:1-14; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:130; 1 John 1:7-9; John 9:5; Matthew 5:14