Monday Devotional: April 25, 2022



Scripture: John 21:1-13

“Can we go fishing” my 13-year-old daughter, Ellen, asks quite often. Her requests are usually last-minute ones, but I try to go whenever possible. I am her ride, the one who buys the bait, and the helper with twisted lines. Typically, I just sit and watch, and usually, she doesn’t catch anything. But it’s a great way to spend time together.

Simon tells the disciples, “I am going fishing.” They go too.

We don’t know why Simon Peter was going fishing. Was he just taking a break? Was he hoping to provide food? Was he going back to what he knew?

The passage also raises other questions. How is it that the disciples do not recognize Jesus when he has already appeared to them several times after the Resurrection? Why does Simon Peter, who is fishing naked, put clothes on before he jumps into the water to swim to Jesus?

Commentators tell us that this story is an addition to the Gospel of John and should be read as an epilogue. This story serves as a kind of bookend to the calling of the disciples early in the Gospel. Simon Peter’s strange act of dressing himself before jumping into the water to swim to Jesus somehow reminds me of Adam and Eve hiding from God in the Garden of Eden when they realized they were naked.

While this passage provokes many questions, there is no question that Simon Peter and other disciples finally recognize Jesus. The same impulse that drives Peter to go fishing impels him to jump in the water when he recognizes Jesus. In hearing Jesus’ voice, following his direction, and hauling in the catch, the other disciples recognize him too.


Loving Jesus, help us to recognize your voice when you call to us. Amen.

By George R. Graham, Upper Room Disciplines 2022