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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings


Not Recognizing Jesus: John 21:1-14

Focus Passage: John 21:1-14 (NIV)

When we look at the fishing trip the disciples took after Jesus’ resurrection, we can see an amazing picture of how God moves, and how He may choose to work in our lives. When everything has been finished, there is no question left in our minds whether it was God working or not – we just know it.

After this miracle, John tells us that Jesus invites them for breakfast. John also adds that, “None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord.” (v. 12b)

With the massive catch of fish after a night filled with disappointment, every disciple who was present at that breakfast meal had no doubt that the person sitting with them was Jesus. They may not have recognized Jesus as clearly in His resurrected body, but there was no doubt in their minds that it was Him.

This detail John includes in this event is important for us to remember. With this detail, we can learn that just because we don’t recognize Jesus moving in an event, this does not mean that He is absent. Just because an event does not line up with our picture of God, we should not discount the possibility that God has a purpose in mind through what happened.

This even is the case in horrible events as well. Note that God does not cause bad events to happen, but in every bad event that He allows to happen, I believe that He has a way of bringing good from it. What happened may not have been our first choice, and it definitely was not His first choice, but if He allowed it, He can use it for His glory.

In this miracle, none of the disciples truly recognized Jesus like they knew Him before. Following the catch of fish, an unnamed disciple (assumed to be John), identified that the man on the shore must have been Jesus. Prior to that, none of the disciples recognized Him.

Even sitting on the shore next to Jesus, it seems as though the disciples didn’t recognize Him clearly. It seems as though John tells us that each disciple had the question in their minds to ask Jesus who He is, but none of them were brave enough to actually ask – and also because they all believed the man to be Jesus.

This brings us back to this big idea: Just because we don’t recognize Jesus moving in an event does not mean that He is absent. Just because an event does not line up with our picture of God, we should not discount the possibility that God has a purpose in mind through what happened.

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