It’s Just So Like Jesus


Most of us have faced bitter disappointment at one time or another. Lost puppy love. A trusted friend’s betrayal. A failed interview for that dream job. A parent or child’s broken promise. Dashed dreams. When I was 15, I planned to build houses with my dad all summer. A car hit my dad that March and left him disabled. I was so mad at God that I didn’t darken a church door until I trusted Christ at age 23. Twenty years later, I went through a bitter divorce. How could God let this happen? Again, in my stubborn anger, I turned and walked away from God—for seven years. Thankfully, God’s understanding and love far exceeded my anger and confusion. He never stopped pursuing me during those years.

  • How have you handled unexpected loss in your life?


21:1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Why do you think the disciples returned to fishing? What would you have done?
  2. Who was the first to realize it was Jesus (vs. 7a)? Who was this disciple? How do you think he recognized Jesus?
  3. What did Peter do as soon as he knew it was Jesus (vs. 7b)? What would your reaction have been? Do you leap to be with Jesus?
  4. John draws attention to how Jesus revealed himself this time (vs. 1). How does Jesus make himself known to you in your life?
  5. Reflect on times of uncertainty in your life. How did God comfort you with his presence and provide his direction? Thank him for these times.


Ever heard yourself say, “Where are you, God?” You know he is real; you’ve felt his closeness. But not right at that moment. The disciples knew Jesus was alive, but they were accustomed to him always being physically present; now, he wasn’t. They had questions and doubts. I sure would have! Jesus appeared again to his disciples to reassure and guide them. No criticism, no chastisement. Instead, humbly, our resurrected Lord—creator of all—guided them to an incredible catch, cooked breakfast for them, served them, sat and ate with them, spent time with them. It’s amazing how God keeps drawing us to himself. He is so good! It’s just like him to love this way!

  • Ask God for the same eagerness Peter had to get close to Jesus.
  • Determine to live so close to Jesus daily that you see him at work around you in life’s events (vs. 7).