that’s a lot of fish!

We’re going to wrap up this Emmanuel series and put a bow on it!  It’s Christmas Eve, and I’ve got some cooking to do! 🙂

I began this Emmanuel writing while pondering the repeated occurrences of the disciples’ inability to recognize Jesus after His resurrection.  We first looked at the two men on the road to Emmaus, then at Mary’s encounter with the Lord at the empty tomb, and now we take in the scene of several disciples in a boat fishing on the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus is there on the shore, but again, the disciples fail to realize it is He.

He called out to them, “Friends, havent’ 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  (John 21: 5-6).

It was at this moment John knew the man on the shore.  He exclaimed, “It is the Lord!”  Once again, Jesus is known by His ways.  John first encountered the One for whom he would leave everything to follow after a similar miraculous catch of fish.  The story is recorded in Luke 5.  Peter, James and John had been fishing throughout the night without any fish to show for it.  The Lord said to put the boat in deeper water and let down the nets.  Peter thought it was useless to do so, but he obliged the Man who spoke with authority.  To his surprise, so many fish went into the nets that they began to break!  Peter needed James and John to help bring in the load with their boat too.  There was so much that the boats began to sink!  That’s a lot of fish!

And that is very much how the Lord works.  In another instance of miraculous fishing, the disciples know that they are once again in His presence.  I want us to also recognize the Lord’s ways and respond appropriately.  For instance, I was with my short-term outreach team in the Dominican Republic when I recognized the presence of God in our midst and the necessity to respond in that moment with faith.  I told my pastor that we needed to gather the afflicted in our group to pray for them because God was desiring to heal in that moment.  Did the healings come?  Instantly.  One felt the power of God heal her when my hand touched her hurting stomach.  Another found her skin to be cleared of the bug bites that covered her limbs only moments earlier.  Others also testified to the restoration of their health.

The Father loves to reveal Himself in our very real circumstances in life.  He is Emmanuel, God With Us.  His Spirit is with us forever; He lives with us and is in us.  We recognize His voice because we know the Word of God.  We recognize His ways because we are among those who seek His Presence and enjoy the fullness of joy found in the times spent with Him.

This is my greatest desire for the upcoming new year:  to pursue God’s presence with an unyielding passion.  Want to make it your purpose as well?  Join me in a year of discovery of our Faithful God in His eternal Word.  Starting January 1, I will post a weekly reading assignment with the goal of finishing the Bible in a year’s time.  Go to “a year in the Word” page to follow along.  It will be wonderful making the journey of discovery together!

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