ODJ: breaking bread

February 10, 2014 

READ: John 21:1-14 

Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish (v.13).

Several years ago, a friend and I were dining in a restaurant’s outdoor seating area. As we neared the end of our dinner we noticed a man watching us from the pavement. His clothes were dirty, his face haggard. He walked up to us and with a cracked voice said, “When you finish your meal, if you have any leftovers, would you mind if I ate them?” We invited him to sit down, and we asked the waitress to bring him a grilled chicken and butter pasta entrée. For the next half hour, he told us bits of his story.

As we chatted there were many truths we could have shared with the man. There were many wise, biblical words we could have offered. It was obvious to us, however, that what this man needed most was a square meal and genuine conversation with people who cared about who he was—people who were interested in learning the sorrows that had led to his current condition.

After Jesus’ resurrection, several disciples returned to fishing. But they weren’t catching anything. In a surprising encounter, however, Jesus called out to them from the shore. He instructed them to cast their nets on the opposite side of the boat. They did, and “they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it” (John 21:6). When they landed their boat on the shore, a charcoal fire with fish cooking over it awaited them. “Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish” (v.13).

I can imagine many things Jesus could have offered. Perhaps a rebuke for their faithlessness in the days surrounding His crucifixion. Yet, as a traditional prayer states, the “blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread”.

Wherever you’re hungry, God will meet you there. —Winn Collier

Read the rest of the chapter, John 21:15-25. What was Peter’s need and hunger? How did Jesus meet him? 
Where do you most need God to meet you? What gifts from God mean the most to you?