Shortly after his resurrection, before daybreak Jesus shows up on the beach. He had stopped by the market and picked up a couple loaves of bread, and a few fish. As the first streams of light broke the horizon Jesus could see a fishing boat riding high above the water line, tired fisherman peering into empty nets. Those were men he loved deeply.
Jesus gathers some stones, builds his fire pit, and collects driftwood along the shoreline. He lights the fire, skewers of fish cook over open flames, bread toasts on warm rocks.
Turning towards the water Jesus calls to his friends, “have you all caught anything”? They don’t recognize him and reply with a curt “no.” He suggests they cast the net on the other side of the boat, they do and the net fills completely.
John recalls Jesus pulling this same act when they first met and realizes it’s him. There is a flurry as the men work to get their boat and catch to shore. As they approach they see Jesus in the firelight with breakfast cooking. Jesus invites them to the fire and then serves them bread and fish as they relax after their long night of toil.
What is fascinating about this story is that Jesus had already prepared breakfast on the beach for them. Regardless of whether they had listened to Jesus and cast their net on the other side of the boat, regardless of their response to his instruction, Jesus had prepared breakfast for his friends to meet their needs in an intimate and relational act of love.
It is a picture of Jesus mercy and grace for us as imperfect people. Regardless of where you are this easter Jesus wants to serve you breakfast on the beach.