I love a good fish story. I never get tired of hearing about the one that got away or the big one that was finally caught.
There is a great fish story in John 21. (Read the New Living Translation – it’s a great read)
Here’s my version:
Jesus had appeared to the Disciples (including Thomas) days ago. The initial thrill must have wore off and they were bored. Simon (the Rock) Peter had enough of just sitting around and so he said “I’m going fishing.” Some of the others answered “Hey dude, wait up – we’re going too.” (I think it’s significant to note that Thomas was one of them. He did not want to be left out again!)
Anyway, back to our story. They fished all night and caught nothing.
Peter: “This is depressing. Jesus is gone and everyone wants to kill us.”
John: “And now we can’t even catch fish! Do you ever think we’ll get jobs again?”
Thomas: “I doubt it.”
Just as the sun was coming up, Jesus was on the beach, but they were just far enough away that they didn’t recognize Him. He said to them “Hey guys. Now that you’ve gone back to fishing, have you caught any?”
Thomas: “I doubt it.”
Jesus told them to put their nets down on the right side of the boat. When they did that, they immediately caught so many fish that they couldn’t pull in the net.
John: “Dudes, that’s the Lord!”
Peter: “Later Dudes, I’m swimming to shore.”
Thomas: “I’m not saying that I doubt you but I’ve been fishing all night and I’m kind of hungry. We’ll stay and bring in the catch.”
When everyone finally got to shore, they saw a fire burning with fish cooking on it and bread already fixed. Now if the load of fish didn’t convince them that it was Jesus, the bread on the beach should have. I’m sure they didn’t have Ali Akbar’s Beach Bakery.
Here’s the great part of the story and it must be significant because it is in the Bible story. They caught 153 BIG fish. They must have been BIG because God inspired the writer to actually use BIG in the description! For a hand-held net, 153 BIG fish would have been a lot. Can you imagine the photograph? They should have shredded their nets – and yet – the Bible says that the net didn’t tear. (Can you imagine the guys telling their buddies that stayed behind? No, really, we caught 153 BIG fish and they didn’t even shred our nets! – What, you don’t believe me? The Lord was there…go ask Him!)
Continuing our story…
Jesus said, “Come – have some breakfast!” And so they ate and talked. Nobody doubted that it was Jesus. They knew – even Thomas.
Now that’s a great fish story!