So He called out to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" "No," they answered.
I. THE OLD SCENE. This verse gets all its suggestiveness just as we remember the place which Jesus chose for this particular manifestation. Persons and time and place were all combined together into one complete lesson of truth. Capernaum stood on that sea, the one place that came nearest to a home for him who all the years of his public life had no true home. While walking on the margin of its waters, Jesus called his first disciples to become "fishers of men" (Luke 5:1-11). To the disciples of Jesus gathered on the shores of this lake everything should have been eloquent with stirring memories of their Master. Everything in the way of circumstance and association was made, as far as it could be, into a hook and a help.
II. WHAT WAS CHANGED SINCE THE COMPANY HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE? The interval could not have been very long; yet what momentous things had happened in it! There was no change to speak of in the scene; a spectator from some coign of vantage would have seen pretty much the same as before. Nor would there be much change in the disciples. A great preparation was going on; but the change itself had yet to come. But in Jesus himself, what a glorious change! The mortal had put on immortality, the corruptible had put on incorruption. A great gulf separated him and his disciples - an immense difference added on to all the differences existing before. Best of all, the difference was laden with hope and encouragement for all who could look at it in the right way. The change in Jesus heralded and initiated a change in every one of these disciples, and through them a change in many with whom they would have to deal.
III. THE ESSENTIAL JESUS STILL REMAINED. He had not to make confession of former errors and new discoveries. The change in Jesus was but a metamorphosis; the change in the disciples was a regeneration. Jesus would look different, for he had put on the body of his glory. Before long, the disciples, looking outwardly the same, would have been profoundly changed.
IV. THE NEED OF A NEW MANIFESTATION TO US IN THE OLD SCENES OF OUR LIFE. Most people have to spend their days among scenes that are as familiar to them as ever the shores of Galilee were to these seven disciples. Life may become very dull and monotonous in these circumstances. But a manifestation of Jesus will make a wondrous change. Then, and only then, will there be sense and comfort in the utterance, that "old things have passed away, and all things become new." The Galilaean cities are gone long ago; but humanity remains, needing all the manifestations of Jesus as much as ever it did. - Y.
Jesus said unto them, Have ye any meat?
I. THE WATCHFULNESS OF THE RISEN CHRIST. He marks each sheep and lamb of His flock with more than a shepherd's eye. The glory with which He is surrounded does not make Him unwatchful. Amidst His plenty He remembers the penury of His own. You never lacked a meal but Jesus asked this question to supply it. You never lacked a spiritual meal but He puts the same question for the same purpose. He watches the hunger of every congregation, and asks, "Children, have ye any meat?"
II. THE PITY OF THE RISEN CHRIST. "I have compassion on the multitudes," He once said. Such was His pity after His resurrection; and we are sure that the throne has not lessened that pity. He pities His Church's and each saint's hunger and leanness. Let us learn this and imitate it.
III. THE BOUNTY OF THE RISEN CHRIST. His is no empty pity. He does not say merely, "Be ye warmed and filled": He opens His treasure-house and supplies us. His stores are boundless. He delights to dispense them; nay, to provide channels for them, as in the case of the disciples when He filled their nets, kindled the fire, and prepared the meal. He fills the cruse and barrel of His widowed Church, and feeds us with the finest of the wheat.
(H. Bonar, D. D.)
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