LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 30 – LET’S GO FISHING
Welcome to this special Easter edition of Redeeming the Chaos with Laurie Christine!
A FAMILY DEVOTIONAL FOR EASTER
For 30 days leading up to Easter, I will be reading to you from my easter devotional book, Come and See! 30 Family Bible Stories for Easter.
Today, I am reading Come and See! Chapter 30 – LET’S GO FISHING.
Come and See! invites families of elementary-aged children to experience firsthand the anticipation, the sorrow, the tragedy, the fear, and the ultimate triumph of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Through the eyes of six eye witnesses, you will be led on a journey through the busyness of the streets of Jerusalem, to the despair of Golgotha, and finally to the celebration of the empty grave.
This bookincludes 30 short devotional stories, each with accompanying Scripture references and questions for discussion and imagination.
We are going to be reading one story each day leading up to Easter. You’re welcome to grab the kids and listen together for your family Bible time. Or, if you would rather read to your kids on your own, you can DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF THE ENTIRE EBOOK HERE.
LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 30 – LET’S GO FISHING
READ COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 30 – LET’S GO FISHING
LET’S GO FISHING – Told by Peter, A Disciple of Jesus
A few weeks had passed since Jesus had appeared to us that night in Bethany. The other disciples and I had travelled back to Galilee, as Jesus had instructed us to do.
James, John, and I were together with several other disciples. Suddenly, I had a hankering to go fishing. I had been a fisherman for many years, but these past few years of traveling with Jesus didn’t allow me much time to pursue my trade. I announced to James and John, “I’m gonna go catch me some fish! It’s been way too long.”
The others jumped up too, eager to join me. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening preparing our nets and making sure our boat was ready to set sail. At nightfall, we pushed our little boat out onto the Sea of Galilee and settled in for the night. The gentle lapping and slapping of the waves against the boat and the scent of rancid fish filling my nostrils made me feel right at home. I pounded John on the back and grinned. Now this was the life! We would have a whole boatload of fish by morning.
But our plans did not work out as we had expected.
By dawn, we were tired, hungry, and frustrated. We had been up all night and had not caught a single fish! We were just about to give up hope, when a voice called out from the shore: “Hello there! How’s it going this morning? Have you caught any fish?”
Have we caught any fish? “Nope! No fish!” I grunted in disgust.
The man on shore cupped his hands and called out again: “Why don’t you throw your nets on the other side of the boat!”
What?! Who did this guy think he was? We were professional fishermen. We had been out there all night and hadn’t caught one single fish. Well, for no other reason than to prove this guy wrong, I was willing to try it. But I was pretty sure every fish in the entire Sea of Galilee had miraculously disappeared overnight.
James and John helped me drag the nets out of the blue-green water on the left side of the boat and heave them up and over the other side of the boat. With a splash, the nets sunk beneath the surface of the water. They had barely disappeared from view when suddenly the ropes stretched tight, and the top half of my body was yanked over the side of the boat. Had someone just filled our nets with rocks? I struggled to hold on to the wet, slippery ropes attached to our nets, but I was quickly losing my grip.
“Thomas! Nathaniel!” I hollered. “Get over here and help us!”
Thomas and Nathaniel came running. The five of us could barely hold on to the nets that seemed to be dragging the entire vessel down into the water. As we peered over the side of the boat, struggling to hold the nets, I suddenly realized what was going on.
“Fish!” I cried. More fish than I had ever caught in my life! I could see the shimmery blue tail fins and scaly backs of more than one hundred fish, jumping and splashing beneath the surface of the water.
Then I remembered the man on the shore. I squinted my eyes against the bright rays of the morning sun, trying to catch a glimpse of the man who had told us to cast our nets on the other side of the boat.
As I stared at the figure standing on the beach, trying to determine if we had ever met before — he did look vaguely familiar — at once my eyes were opened, and I recognized who it was.
“It’s the Lord!” I shouted, grabbing my tunic and throwing it over my shoulders. I ran to the side of the boat and heaved myself up and over and down into the chilly water. Splash! My muscles tightened as the water soaked into my long robes. Whew, that water was cold!
James shouted after me, “Peter, get back here! Where are you going? We need your help with these fish!”
I didn’t care. I wanted to see Jesus more than anything. Waves lapped against my back as I pushed my way through the chest-deep water. I ignored the sticky mud squishing through my toes. When I finally reached the shore, I ran up to Jesus and threw my arms around him in a tight embrace.
“Oh, Peter, you’re all wet!” Jesus laughed. His eyes twinkled, and his smile was proof that he was indeed alive. Joy surged through my whole body, warming my lake-chilled limbs.
“Jesus! I was hoping we would see you again soon!”
“Of course, Peter. I always keep my promises. Look, I’m cooking breakfast! Why don’t you bring a few of those fish you just caught, and we can bake them over the fire? Do you think you could spare a few?” Jesus winked at me and waved to the other men who were pulling the boat up on shore. “Hey guys! Anybody hungry?”
We sat on the sand around the fire, warming our cold, stiff fingers. As we ate, the smell of grilled fish and freshly baked bread filled my senses. I took a deep breath and let out a contented sigh. Jesus was alive, my belly was full, and everything was going to be okay.
“Hey, Peter, I’ve got a question for you.” Jesus finished the bite of bread he was chewing and brushed the crumbs from his beard.
“Yes, of course, Lord, what is it?” I cringed just a tiny bit, feeling nervous about what Jesus would ask me. Was he remembering the night I had betrayed him? Was he going to ask me why I hadn’t kept my promise to stand by him at all costs? I fidgeted with my piece of bread as I waited for his question.
“I was just wondering, Peter… do you love me?” Jesus finally asked.
Do I love him?? What kind of a question was that?
“Yes, Lord! Of course I love you!” The fact that he even had to ask me that question made my heart ache.
“Then feed my lambs.”
Feed your lambs, Lord? What did that even mean? As I pondered this odd statement, Jesus repeated his question: “Peter, do you love me?”
Seriously? Didn’t he hear my answer the first time? “Lord, you know that I love you.” Don’t you? Don’t you know how deeply I love you? My breaths quickened.
“Then take care of my sheep.”
Now I was really getting confused. What was he talking about?
Jesus asked me a third time: “Peter, do you love me?”
I blew out a frustrated breath from between my clenched teeth. He knew that I loved him! Hadn’t I tried to cut off a soldier’s ear to protect him? Wasn’t I the first one to run to the tomb? Wasn’t I the first one to jump out of the boat and run to him this morning?
“Yes, Lord!” I answered with more than a little agitation in my voice. “You know that I love you!”
“Then feed my sheep.”
Jesus looked me directly in the eyes, and instantly, I understood. Three times. Three times I had denied that I even knew him. Three times he asked me if I loved him. Of course. This was his way of letting me know that all had been forgiven, that the past was behind us. I smiled and nodded, returning his gaze.
Yes, Lord, I will feed your sheep. I will take care of your lambs. I will minister to your people and care for your flock. I will follow you as long as I live.