Saturday, April 17, 2010

Easter 3

How satisfied are you with your life? Interesting question isn’t it? Consider the disciples of Jesus. They had given so much to the cause of Christ. They had followed Him for years sacrificing career choices, family commitments, and their status among peers – for what? They had seen Him die and then rise again but where did that leave them? Peter the (concernment) spokesman for the disciples says to his friends, “I’m going fishing”, as if to say “I’ve had enough…I’m going back to a life and a world that is at least predictable.”

Where do you find yourself today? Can you identify with these 1st Century followers of Jesus? In the gospel lesson for today we see a contrast between life without Christ and life with Christ. This begs the question – are you living BC – before Christ, or AC – after Christ has come into your life.

1. BC – life before Christ entered your life – I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Vv. 1-3

A. This can be a life of discouragement frustration and hopelessness – “I’m going fishing.”

1. Peter and his fiends had invested three years of their lives following the Savior.

2. But what had that in investment of time produced? They had witnessed Jesus’ passion, suffering, death and resurrection. But what did it mean to them? Had there been a significant change in their lives? Peter was content to get back to a familiar way of living, his former life. “I’m going fishing.” The kingdom had not arrived, and they had to make a living.

B. The result of such labor and effort – “he caught nothing” But the former life proved to be fruitless for Peter. His enthusiasm ended in frustration, for no fish were caught.

1. What he thought would bring him contentment, joy, and peace lead to nothing.

2. He had nothing to show for all of his effort.

Transition: There was life for Peter before Christ entered his life. Notice his life after his encounter with Jesus.

2. AC – life after Christ enters your life – Vv. 4-14

A. Fruitfulness, a miracle of fish, 153 fish. Jesus originally called Peter after he had caught a great amount of fish. The Savior had said to him, “from now on you will catch men!” Once again Peter is called into kingdom work. Peter is given a re-call. These are encouraging words for us to hear. Peter was given another chance. The Savior is the author of second chances. Peter who was content to drop out is re-instated. Having been recovered he is re- charged for future kingdom building.

B. The food - Jesus provides it – it is given to provide nurture, growth, and strength. Daily the Savior feeds us as He give us His Word not only to strengthen but to encourage us to go back to where we work and live to be witnesses for Him.

C. The Savior offers us an opportunity for fellowship, “Come and have breakfast” with Me! This is why you have come this day. To re-connect with the Savior; to have hear His voice, to be strengthened by His Word and Sacrament.

With a single minded purpose the Savior comes to His own to provide for them. Had He not come to these friends His cause would have been lost and His mission in vain. Peter experienced not only the Lord’s forgiveness but the opportunity to be used by Him for a second time. May the Lord continue to use you to speak His word of peace in this world.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

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