After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.…
The differences between the two miracles are mainly three.
I. THAT NOW IN THE DISPENSATION OF THE ASCENSION, THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST WITH HIS PEOPLE IS TO BE KNOWN NOT BY THE SIGHT OF HIS VISIBLE PERSONALITY, BUT BY INFERENCE FROM THE EFFECTS PRODUCED BY HIS WORKINGS AMONG THEM. As He stood on the shore, they knew not that it was He, but when John felt the weight of the net with the fishes, he said, "It is the Lord." So we find that in the book of the Acts the author represents the things wrought by the apostles as a continuance of those which before His death Jesus began both to do and to teach (Acts 1:1). The apostles recognized that their miracles were wrought not by their own power or holiness (Acts 3:13), but by Him whom the Jews had crucified, but whom God had raised up. "Tried by the ordinary process of reasoning, the conclusion was precarious. But there is a logic of the soul which deals with questions of the higher life, and John trusted that he recognized the insight, the power, the love which belonged to one only. And when the truth found utterance, the others acknowledged it." In the same way we are now to recognize the presence of the Lord Jesus with us. When our hearts burn within us as we study the sacred Scriptures; when our spirits are soothed, refreshed, inspired, and strengthened as we turn in prayer to God; when the words which we speak in His name are followed by results as astonishing to ourselves as they are to those who behold them, — then we too may say with John, "It is the Lord," and rejoice in the assurance that He is in the midst of us indeed.
II. THAT THE ASCENDED CHRIST SENDS US ON NO UNSUCCESSFULL ERRAND WHEN HE BIDS US GO AND PREACH HIS GOSPEL TO ALL NATIONS. Bear witness Judson among the Karens, Moffat among the Hottentots, Lindley among the Zulus, Scudder among the men of Arcot, and Morrison and Burns, and many more, among the Chinese. No faithful worker who is obedient unto Christ and faithful to his calling, will go without his netful at the last. This word, "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find," stands for all time, and will surely be made good. The success of the missionary enterprise is no mere peradventure. It is as sure as promise and prophecy can make it. The power of the Saviour is not now a thing to be put to the test of experiment; it is a matter of experience.
III. THE REWARD OF THOSE WHO ARE OBEDIENT TO CHRIST, IN LABOURING FOR THE SALVATION OF MEN. Not only are they successful in that labour, which itself is a great joy, but Christ prepares for them a feast when their work is done.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.