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1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
...he knew a little time must elapse before anything definite could be done in execution of the work in which Jesus had told them they were to be employed; and that it would be the best way of filling up the time to return to Galilee, the more especially as Jesus had said he would see them there (Matt. xxviii, 10).
...On the lake, then, we find them fishing, and fishing in vain a whole night -- probably by Christ's own arrangement, that he might find effective opportunity of introducing himself to them. In the morning, as they are nearing the shore, a friendly voice from the shingle enquires if they had got anything. They see the speaker, but know not who he is. *
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
There was something in the voice that constrains them to comply. *
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
John eyes their friend on the shore; he recalls a similar circumstance some years before. Quickly as a woman's intuition, he jumps to the conclusion that it is Christ.
Peter does not wait another moment. With the ardour of discipleship, which was always manifest, he hastily puts on his fisherman's coat, of which he had probably divested himself to deal with the extraordinary haul of fish (or possibly the warmth of the morning had led him to sit without it -- in a not absolutely nude, but comparatively unclothed state); and getting over the boat's side into the water, he swam or waded to the land, a distance of about 100 yards, to where Christ was. *
8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
The others took time to pull to shore, dragging the fish-laden net after them. They would wonder why Peter was in such a hurry to land. *
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, 153: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
...a proposal which very likely was a welcome one, after a toilsome night on the water.
Who lit the fire, who got ready the meal, there is no hint; but with such a host, there need be no questions. The disciples appear to have stood for a moment uncertain what to do -- momentarily embarrassed between their deference to the interesting friend standing before them, whose identity had not been declared; and the necessity for dealing with the fish, which were struggling in the net-meshes in the water.
...No one dared as yet to ask the host who he was Though nothing had been said, they "knew it was the Lord," and were awed in his presence. *
13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
When they had eaten enough, a most interesting passage ensued between him and Peter, the beauty and force of which is usually lost by a false application. *
*Nazareth Revisited Ch 60.