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A Man on the Shore

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“Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.
And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.”
John 21: 12

A small company of disciples of the Lord Jesus returned to their fishing boats they left a while ago. It was a while since they had seen the risen Lord and perhaps a little despondency had crept in. Peter announced: “I’m going fishing”, and the others followed.

It was a long disappointing night of fruitless work. They caught nothing! What a waste of their time and effort! As they rowed back to the shore feeling defeated and exhausted, they caught sight of ‘a Man on the shore’! He called out to them, asking them if they caught anything? Of course they had to tell Him that they hadn’t.

At this point they didn’t know who this Man was! But He said something to them that was odd and yet familiar: “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.” We don’t read of any conversation going on between the Man on the shore and the exhausted fishermen - they just threw the net into the sea as suggested, and this time they caught a great haul of fish!

Then the penny dropped as it were; it was John who recognised who the Man was, and said to Peter: “It is the Lord!” Peter, forgetting all about the fish, and how tired he was, grabbed something to put on to make himself decent, launched himself into the water to get to Jesus as soon as he could! The others brought the boat and their catch to shore.

When they arrived, they saw a fire and the smell of fish and bread cooking wafted from where He was to where they were! How inviting! And after obeying His instructions to bring all the fish ashore, nobody dared question who He was or what He was telling them to do, because they now knew who this Stranger on the shore was.

The disciples knew that their earlier efforts were fruitless. Their energy was spent and they were defeated. And all this because they went back to the life they had been called from to become ‘fishers of men’!

Why did they do this? Was it because they grew despondent waiting for Him after He rose from the dead? They had seen Him a couple of times before, but it had been a while since then. He told them to wait, but for how long He didn’t say! And so they did what came naturally. There was nothing wrong with what they did, but now it was a fruitless work because Jesus had given to them a more noble calling, and they had to wait until He made them ready for this, their new vocation.

None of us like waiting do we? If we are not careful the weight and impact of the Words of God gradually dissolve and we begin to drift back to the life from which we were delivered. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with some of those things we used to do or think … but now the doing of them, the occupying of ourselves with those things we once spent our time doing has become a fruitless waste of our time and energy.

The Lord has given to each of as a high calling … a life that cannot be lived in our own strength or according to our own ability. However, most of us, if we were honest would have to admit have wondered off at some time or other and done our own thing. And what has become of that? Perhaps our lives resemble what was said of the disciples after toiling all night … “That night they caught nothing!” If it was not for this precious account we might feel like bowing our heads in shame and giving up!

But just as He was there for the disciples, so He is there for us.
Bless God that there is ‘A Man on the Shore’ for us also!

Did He reprimand them for not waiting for Him, and for returning to their old life? Was He harsh with these exhausted men? Had He given up on them, like perhaps we would do either on ourselves or someone else? Of course not! He had every right to express His disappointment in His failing followers but He didn’t. Perhaps this is because the Bible tells us that: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103: 13-14.

This precious account gives to us all hope in the fact that while we still have a few moments of time left, we can do something meaningful and of eternal value with them. Our lives may have left us exhausted, defeated and fruitless, but our Man on the shore is there to give us hope. 

Does this give us the license to live careless lives knowing that everything will turn out all right in the end? Absolutely not! The Bible says: “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4: 17. But it does give to the one with a true and contrite heart the comfort in the knowledge that the same Saviour who came to die in the place of sinners like you and me, receives them all whether we are a lost sinner or a saved sinner!

My beloved Lord Jesus who is gracious and long-suffering and is not willing that any should perish, also extends all the grace necessary for the wondering believer to arrive home in heaven with many treasures awaiting him … or her :)

And so what of all those wasted hours, days, weeks … even years? Is there anything left that we can give to our loving Lord that He will value? How will the moments of time that we have left amount to anything in eternal ages?

My beloved Lord Jesus is a wonderful Restorer. He restores the soul of the wonderer, and He restores 'the years that the locust have eaten.' (Joel 2: 25.) Look at the barren land after the locusts have been free to devour it! My beloved Lord has the incredible ability to restore out of the barren life fruitfulness, as if all those wasted years had never happened.

The Man on the shore took them back as it were to the place where they went astray and brought them back to Himself. Soon they would go in the power of His gracious Holy Spirit with a message that would change the whole world.

Our beloved Man on the shore can do the same for you so that you can prosper both in time and for eternity! Don’t delay - He in abundant grace and mercy is waiting on the shore just for you. 

06_June_A Man on the Shore
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Here's how to know for sure you are ready for heaven.
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>> Do you have any questions or comments about the above thoughts I would love to hear from you - 
      why not say hello down below! 


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  1. HELEN Munro

    Hello Mandy. Love this passage of scripture - John 21. Notice unusual order of names v2 suggest rather disorganised then all the negatives. V3 - No fish (no feeding). V4 - Knew not it was Jesus (no presence). V7 - Nakedness (no dignity). John knew it was the Lord. He would wouldn't he? V7 - Provision tables turned with Lords presence. V9 - Saw a fire (life), Warmth, Fellowship, Fish. V11 - Fullness (but net unbroken unlike last time). V12 -Food. V18 - Girded to glorify God (priest like). V18 - Feeding sheep. V25 - Writing. V20 - Peter distracted. V22 - Peter focussed. Peter feeding. John writing. Last verse all about writing. In a sense John did tarry till He came for He saw it all in vision in Revelation.... Just a few thoughts triggered by your excellent work. Love in the Lord. Helen

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