Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present Jesus in the context he walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
One evening, after we arrived back in Capernaum, Peter was looking out the window. He abruptly stood up.
We looked at him with unspoken questions.
“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told us. Six of us decided to go with him. Peter led the way, with James and John following…naturally since they were fishermen. Thomas, Nathaniel, myself, and Bartholomew were at the end.
We fished all night by torch, slightly hindered by only having one boat instead of two for a dragnet.
We rowed in early in the morning. James spotted someone on the shore by a fire. The stranger called out to us, “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.”
“Why not?” Nathaniel said.
Peter threw the net, and we watched it flare out as it sunk. Then he began to pull it up.
“Give me a hand.”
James and John grabbed the rope and tried to pull.
“It’s not moving,” John said.
It took all of us to get it to the side of the boat, but we couldn’t get it inside.
John looked at the stranger again. His face broke into a smile. “It is the Lord!”
Peter jerked away from the rope that James was tying to the side and grabbed his outer garment. He leaped into the water.
We followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish. We were about a hundred yards from shore. I saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it and some bread.
I wondered if Jesus simply told the fish to jump on the beach so he could cook them.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish. Bartholomew was counting.
“153, but even with so many the net isn’t torn.”
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
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 us after he was raised from the dead.
We ate and talked. When we had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter’s face twisted in grief and shame. He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you dressed yourself and went where you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Peter had denied Jesus three times; this is Jesus giving Peter a second chance, I realized.
Peter turned and looked at John. When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
We left and walked back into town with the fish we needed to feed the other disciples. Jesus didn’t disappear this time but went with us. He had something to say.